The Twin Towers Went Down 15 Years Ago. Here's How You Can Remember Them.
If you've visited or lived in New York City for any amount of time in the last 15 years, the wake of the September 11 attacks has been inescapable. More police patrol the streets, airport security lines are longer, and new skyscrapers shoot into the sky. At this point so much has been written and said of that day that I'm sure the rest of the world finds it hard to fathom what 9/11 still means for New York.
But New Yorkers don't have the luxury of forgetting. Here's how our home will honor its fallen this weekend.
National September 11 Memorial Ceremony
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum, located at the site of the fallen towers, will read the names of victims and families affected by the 9/11 terror attacks. The reading will be accompanied by moments of silence starting at 8:46am to mark the times when hijacked planes hit the towers and Pentagon, when the towers fell, and when the fourth plane, United 93, crashed in Pennsylvania.
The Bell of Hope and Calling of the Names
As it has done since 2002, St. Paul's Cathedral's Bell of Hope will toll at 8:46am to mark the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. The Bell of Hope was given to the city by the Lord Mayor of London in 2002. At the same time, the bells at Trinity Church will also toll. At St. Paul's Chapel at 3:30pm, deceased first responders and volunteer workers will also be honored and their names read aloud.
New York City Fire Museum Memorial Service
The memorial will honor 343 firefighters who lost their lives as a result of the September 11 attacks on Sunday, at 1pm At the Fire Museum, you can view a black marble-and-tile memorial as well as the helmet and bunker coat of FDNY Chaplain Mychal Judge, the first victim of the attacks.
Rendering the Unthinkable: Artists Respond to 9/11
Over the last 15 years, hundreds of artists have reacted to the attacks in their own ways. The National September 11 Memorial and Museum has selected 13 New York artists working in a variety of media to contribute paintings, sculptures, and other pieces honoring the victims of the terror attacks. The exhibit opens on Monday, September 12.
Tribute in Light
If you live anywhere in the five boroughs you've probably been able to see these twin beams of light shooting into the sky from Lower Manhattan. Light from "Tribute in Light" shines for four miles into the night sky from 88 7,000-watt xenon bulbs at the base of the two 48-foot squares in the 9/11 Memorial, reminding us of where the Twin Towers were in the skyline. They can be seen from a 60-mile radius and are the most persistently visible reminder of the 9/11 terror attacks across the city, and they were first turned on in March of 2002, six months after the attacks.
The 9/11 Memorial Livestream
The commemoration ceremony on Sunday's 15th anniversary will also be presented over a livestream you can watch remotely. The livestream begins at 8:40am EST.
This video puts a lot of these memorials in perspective
It's called "New York Reacts," and it shows the faces and the conversations of New Yorkers in public spaces two days after September 11, 2001, as they discussed the implications of the attacks. Produced and directed by Ray Farkas and published by MediaStorm, it remains one of the most affecting short documentaries made about the immediate aftermath, and captures a wide range of raw, human emotions.
Because reflecting on this event helps
It's not as if the coping of 9/11 is undocumented. It's important to recall the glimmers of hope that shone through the city after it was rocked by tragedy. They live on in our memories and in our hearts. The experience of Quora user James H. Kelly, who stood about 100 yards away when the towers fell, isn't particularly unique:
I worked two blocks away from the towers at the time and lived about a mile away. Aside from the smell, the city had an amazing feeling after the towers fell. Strangers talked to each other who never would have before. People who were stuck in their lives made changes. Many of my friends who had talked about moving out of the city for years finally did. Couples who were on the skids finally broke up. Couples who were close got engaged. I met my future wife a few days later.[...]