Sunday, September 11, 2011

9/11 Memorial at night

Living as close as I used to to the Pentagon, I thought it was strange I'd never been to the 9/11 Memorial. I'd ridden past it countless times, but I'd never stopped to take it in. So Friday night I changed that.

It's pretty moving.

One hundred and eighty-four benches and reflecting pools dedicated to the men, women and children who died there. It's an amazingly peaceful place considering what happened.

The memorial is filled with symbols representing those lives. The wall surrounding it begins at 3 inches eventually rising to a height of 71 inches, the ages of the youngest and oldest people to die: Dana Falkenberg, 3, and John Yamnicky, Sr., 71. The benches are arranged so if you're reading the name of someone who was aboard Flight 77 you look up into the sky, and if they were in the Pentagon, you look at the building's south facade.

As I said, it is a powerful place. Here, let me show you.

As you walk in, the first bench you come to is dedicated to Dana Falkenberg, age 3, who was aboard Flight 77. Because they're arranged by age, Dana's bench sits by itself.

As you move deeper into the memorial, the benches become more numerous.

As the 10th anniversary approached, many had small tokens placed on them.

One thing about the memorial, the 184 reflecting pools - combined with the week of rain beforehand - made for some condensation on my lens. I kept clearing it off but, in the case of this picture, it made for an interesting effect. I particularly like this shot.

Another example of the moisture on my lens working with the light to create an otherworldly effect.
Looking back across the memorial toward Pentagon City.

This one took me a couple of tries to get right. Trying to focus on something a good quarter-mile away, in the dark, isn't the easiest thing in the world.

For some more pictures, check out my Flickr page. The link's at the right.

It's been a week of remembrance in D.C., New York, across the country and around the world. I was in Texas getting ready to go to work covering the Army on one of the biggest bases in the country. Little did I know how interesting, exciting and, yes, tragic that job would become.

How do you remember that day 10 years ago?


Anonymous said...

these are gorgeous, and just the right tone for a day like this.


hannah said...

Walking from AP US History to AP Calculus (yes I was 16, why do you ask?). I walked in with a friend to our second class to find people laughing about a dumbass pilot who flew into a building. I said, "Guys, I don't think this is very funny..." then we realized just how true it was. My history teacher joined the Foreign Service in 2005, partially because of 9/11, and I followed him two years later, again partially because of 9/11.

HK said...

Lovely photos and description - you captured the Memorial so eloquently.

I graduated from college in May 2001 and moved to Austin over the summer. On 9/11, I was in a new hire training class located in an old data center, there were only 30 of us in the entire building that day. We huddled around the only TV in the building watching the coverage of the tragic events on that day.

Alice said...

i was a senior in college. my roommate woke me up as she was getting ready for class and told me i probably wanted to go into the common room and turn on the tv; something bad was happening in nyc. i watched the 2nd plane hit and the tower fall live. my parents live in nj and my mom was supposed to be down in lower manhattan that day - i don't remember now why she cancelled; maybe she wasn't feeling well? but i remember being so grateful that i was able to get through to my parents' house in NJ, since anyone calling NYC or DC was unable to get through for hours. said...

i remember it was a perfect day...
your shots make me wanna go down night.. great job

FoggyDew said...

magnolia - thanks.

hannah - Isn't it interesting the good that can come from tragic events?

HK - You and I were only an hour or so apart that day...

Alice - My cousin lived on the Upper Eastside at the time and worked downtown, I didn't rest easy until I heard she was safe.

blond - It's a powerful place, especially in the quiet of the night.

Keenie Beanie said...

Those are outstanding photographs of that solemn place. I've not had the opportunity to see the DC memorial in person, so thanks for sharing your lovely photographic perspective.