September 11th 2001 was a day that will forever be embedded in our collective memories. Every single person remembers precisely what they were doing and where they were the moment they first heard of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
However, our students who were either too young or not yet born, have no memory and very little knowledge of the events of that horrific day.
That changed today.
The students had so many questions, some very difficult to answer. For example, a student asked me what could possibly motivate someone to commit suicide whilst murdering thousands of innocent people. What causes people to do such things? He was unable to make sense of that aspect of human nature. But neither can anyone really.
Which is precisely the point of why we were there.
The site at Ground Zero stands today as a memorial to the victims who perished that day, and the Americans are particularly adept at honouring their fallen citizens.
The site contains two reflecting pools which occupy the exact spaces occupied by the twin towers of the World Trade Center. It is a surreal feeling to know that two of the buildings which dominated the NY skyline no longer exist.
The 9/11 Museum located in the underground levels is filled with historical artifacts. To see the steel wreckage on display, twisted and wretched as a result of the collapse of the towers brings a sense of reality that all attendance certainly felt.
Students took a moment of quiet reflection at the reflecting pool at the site of the South Tower:
The wreckage of a fire engine crushed by falling debris:
The last piece of wreckage removed from the 9/11 site:
The stairs of Very Street, now known as the Survivor Stairs, are the stairs many people used to escape the World Trade Center: