New York City (Port #102) – One World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial Museum

July 1 – Sun
Sunday was an awesome and special day in the Great Loop Tourist Life of Mike & Jonell.
We went to One World Trade Center & The 9/11 Museum and Memorial.

I consider this a very special post, please read the second half about the 9/11 Museum and Memorial when you have time, don’t rush through it.

One World Trade Center 
One World Trade Center is the main building of the rebuilt World Trade Center complex in Lower Manhattan. It is the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, and the sixth-tallest in the world. The building has the same name as the North Tower of the original World Trade Center (One World Center) which was destroyed in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The new skyscraper stands on the site of the original 6 World Trade Center, not on the same ground as the original One World Center. The 9/11 Museum is on the actual grounds of the original One World Center.

We had reserved a 10am entrance time, and this ended up being a great idea. We beat much of the crowd, and there were only 4 people in our elevator.

The folks at One World definitely had their act together in moving you through security, into the elevators, getting you hooked up with an IPAD, and on your way around the 102nd floor observation deck.

The elevator ride up took less than a minute for 102 floors, and did not have open windows. While traveling up there was a video on the walls showing the evolution of Manhattan over time, with new buildings appearing before your eyes.
Check out this video =

After you arrive at the top, they equip you with an IPAD which you aim in the direction that you are looking, and the IPAD identifies major landmarks. Once you identify a landmark you are interested in, you can hit a link which zooms in on the building and then gives you a little history.
It was pretty cool. I attempted to copy some of the links but was not surprised to find out you cannot copy the links.
If interested, you can use the info below to see many of the videos of major landmarks ;
> website =
> email = (my junk email file)
> password = RPiTuA9a

Once you started the tour, the IPAD was set up along points of a compass.
We started in the West Quadrant – we could see
> Statue of Liberty Island
> Ellis Island
> The Ole Train Station
> Our Liberty Landing Marina

This is the lower Hudson & New York Harbor where we came into NYC. You can also barely see ; The Statue of Liberty Island , Ellis Island , and the Ellis Island Train/Boat Station (all on the middle RHS).
Close up of Statue of Liberty Island & Ellis Island

In the North Quadrant, we could see – The Upper Hudson River & Upper Manhattan

This is the Upper Hudson River, we will travel up this section of the Hudson on Tuesday as we travel from New York to Croton on the Hudson, about 50 miles north. Adam & Patty Silorey will travel with us, they arrive on Monday July 2nd.

Next was the East Quadrant, we could see – Manhattan, Brooklyn & the Brooklyn Bridge.

To the Left is Manhattan, the East River separates Manhattan & Brooklyn, and Brooklyn is on the RHS. The lower bridge is the Brooklyn Bridge & the upper bridge is the Manhattan Bridge.

Finally to the South Quadrant, we could see – Lower Manhattan, The Governors Island, Wall Street, & Battery Park.

The green area is on the south tip of Manhattan is Battery Park, the tall buildings in the center of the photo is Wall Street, the Governors Island is in the top/center (the island is not for the governor of NY, it is now a National Park area with historic homes).

It was like Chicago & Baltimore, a wonderful viewing experience.
But it was nothing compared to the place we went to next !

The 9/11 Museum & Memorial
On the way to The 9/11 Museum, we traveled indoors due to the 100 degree heat outdoors. There was a very large, very nice, very high-end shopping area between the One World Trade Center & The 9/11 Museum & Memorial.

Then we arrived at the 9/11 Museum & Memorial, and that’s when the day started to get really interesting. Much like the Old Slave Market in Charleston, this place induced significant emotions, and created a memorable life experience for us.

It will be easiest to tell the story with the pictures, so I will just show the photos and attach captions to the photos.

Before we start, I must mention that the 9/11 Museum & Memorial is dedicated to the 9/11 victims & first responders at The North & South World Trade Centers, but it is also dedicated to memories of ; The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, The Pentagon Attack, & the Flight #93 Heroes who most likely saved The White House or The Nations Capitol Building.

Some Quick Facts / Timeline –
> The morning of September 11, 2001 was a beautiful blue sky morning
> 7:59am = AA Flight #11 from Boston to LA takes off
> 8:14am = United Flight #175 from Boston to LA takes off
> 8:20am = AA Flight #77 from Dulles (Washington) to LA, takes off
> 8:41am = United Flight #93 from Newark to San Fran, takes off (45 min Late, Delayed).
> 8:46am = AA-#11 crashes into the North Tower, floors #93-99
> 9:03am = United-#175 crashes into the South Tower, floors #75-85
> 9:37am = AA-#77 crashes into the Pentagon.
> 9:59am = The South Tower Collapses
> 10:07am = Passengers of United-#93 induce the crash, most likely saving the US Capitol Building.
> 10:28am = The North Tower Collapses.
> It became 102 minutes of time which changed the world forever !
> The 9/11 Museum & Memorial was opened exactly 10 years after the event, on September 11, 2011.
> One World Trade Center opened November 3, 2014, and the Observatory opened fairly recently on May 29, 2015.


The Morning of Sept 11, 2001

Our tour started with tour guide Ellen. Ellen was in 4th grade walking to her local elementary school blocks away from The Twin Towers. She vividly remembers the event and now dedicates her life to honoring the memories of the victims of the infamous day. The large photo shows how beautiful the morning was, and shows the original Twin Towers.

The Memorial Hall & Virgil Quotation

This Wall is the wall of the Repository which encloses the Unknown Remains of people who perished in the Twin Tower attacks. Ellen told us that 40% of the victims are unclaimed. All cases are still open and will remain open, but much of the DNA has been destroyed and lost. The Big Bold Letters on the wall are made from steel of the original towers. The wall was designed by artist Spencer Finch, and Each of the Blue Squares on the wall are a different shade of Blue. The memorial is inspired by the memorably clear, intensely blue sky of that fateful morning combined with the goal of each Shade of Blue representing the different personalities of all the victims. The squares are individual pieces of Fabriano Paper all hand painted with water colors and hung to represent all the missing persons flyers hung in the city after the event. The Repository is maintained by the Medical Examiner of NYC.


The North Tower Antenna

A section of the North Tower Antenna. This 19.8-foot-long fragment was about one-twentieth of the 360-foot-tall transmission tower atop the North Tower. The massive antenna provided the signals of most of major New York City broadcasters until it went off-the-air on the infamous morning. The signals then had to be rerouted to the Empire State Building Antenna.

The Elevator Motor

The Twin Towers were the first skyscrapers to use a system of High Speed Elevators. Each tower had 99 elevators, and 4 High Speed Elevators. They were the largest in the world when installed.

Ladder Company 3

It was 9am shift change time. When the attack occurred all 11 members of Company 3 volunteered, even the guys who had just completed the night shift. All 11 team members are known to have reached the 35th floor by 9:21am, and all 11 men of Ladder Company 3 were killed inside the North Tower when it collapsed at 10:28 a.m

The North Tower Impact Beam

This piece of steel, once part of the façade of the North Tower, was the point of impact where hijacked Flight 11 pierced the building from floors 93 through 99. A companion piece of façade steel from floors 30-33 is displayed in the South Tower Excavation (shown next slide).


This column once stood in the core of the South Tower, approximately between floors 30 and 33. During the tower’s collapse, extreme stresses caused this piece of steel to fold over onto itself. Three of the four welds that held the column together split open.

The Foundation Wall

This is the Foundation Wall which separated the base of the North Tower from The Hudson River. If this wall would have breached, it would have flooded all of Manhattan. All of the objects protruding from the wall are part of the structural tie backs into the ground behind the wall, like a normal seawall in a marina.

The Last Column

As the recovery at the World Trade Center site neared completion, the Last Column, a 58-ton, 36-foot- tall piece of welded plate steel, was removed from the site in a solemn ceremony on May 30, 2002. In the weeks that followed, recovery workers, first responders, volunteers and victims’ relatives signed the column and affixed to it memorial messages, photographs, and other tributes. This actually became the 1st piece of the museum.

The North Tower Column Remnants

The towers went 1/4 mile into the sky.  The towers were supported by these steel columns anchored 70 feet below ground. A total of 84 columns defined the towers perimeter. Recovery workers cut the columns to their current height shown in the photos.  Family members viewed this as sacred ground and did not want it dug up to remove the columns.


The Vesey Street Stairs

The Vesey Street stairs, are also known as the “Survivors’ Stairs”.
Over 15,000 people made it to safety on this path.
During the attacks of September 11, 2001, the stairway became a vital safety route for many of the survivors. The stairs were one of very few exit areas which had overhead covering, protecting the lucky people who actually made it out from falling debris. Many people made it out but were killed by the falling debris.
The stairs were mostly intact immediately after 9/11, but they were significantly damaged during the nine-month recovery period. The stairway is also the sole vestige above ground of the World Trade Center.

The 9/11 Flag




The tour ended with a walk through a room which held photos & family mementos of each victim.

This type of wall pictorial was shown on all 4 large walls. In an adjacent room is a non-stop movie running biographies of each of the victims over & over.

After the Museum, we walked outside to The Memorial Plaza.

The Memorial Plaza is an 8-acre park composed of nearly 400 white oak trees, and the largest manmade waterfalls in the United States. Set within the footprints of the original Twin Towers, each pool is approximately 1-acre in size. The names of every person who died in the terror attacks of February 26, 1993 & September 11, 2001 are honored in bronze around the twin Memorial pools.
A couple photos are shown below, but the video shows it better
Video =

Tour guide Ellen told us about Monica Rodriguiz Smith. She had never missed a days work in over 11 years of working in the North Tower. On the day of Feb 26, 1993 Monica came into the office for a baby shower being thrown by her co-workers. Her & her unborn child died during the original bombing attack.

It was quite the memorable day, maybe the most memorable of The Loop.








6 thoughts on “New York City (Port #102) – One World Trade Center & 9/11 Memorial Museum

  1. Great job again. Haven’t been to the museum yet; was there during construction. You captured the serious spirit of it all. Thanks.


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