The lines that wind around to the entrance of Ground Zero remind me of those that you see at theme parks or airport security areas. Everyone keeps moving, so it feels like you are making good progress. It certainly beats standing still, but it takes quite a while to get there.
As we were walking, many folks were trying to sell us booklets of information. One guy, Manuel Suarez, stopped us and had a pretty hard sell: he was actually working in a kitchen of a restaurant in the WTC north tower's Akbar's Cafe on 9/11; he was evacuated and escaped from lower Manhattan across the Brooklyn Bridge. His picture and story were featured in one of the booklets he was selling. Plus, he made us a "great deal" on a set of 3. We gave in. (By the way, the booklets are very nice with outstanding pictures, awesome stories, and interesting details.) He also suggested that we go ahead and get to the entrance of the memorial ahead of time, so we didn't dilly-dally. Because we heeded his advice, the crowds were not huge, and we moved right along to the memorial area.
It remains a solemn site. The north and south pools are quiet, beautifully simple in design, with clean lines that stretch the perimeters of the buildings that fell. It's difficult to even imagine the devastation that occurred that day. I stood in silence and acknowledged the bravery and sacrifice of so many. I also drank in the beauty of this park area, which is a very memorable tribute to those who lost their lives. The fall leaves created a lovely border.
I was also quite moved by the "Miracle Tree." It's the one tree on the site that survived the disaster. If I remember correctly, it was removed from the sight, taken to Brooklyn, was given great care, and was then transplanted back at Ground Zero near the north pool . Cory took a picture of me in front of this "survivor."
Next, we walked north to SoHo...