Where Words Fail, Music Speaks

It’s been a day of mixed emotions. We were invited to the 9/11 Museum and started the week as we mean to go on, by remembering why we are here. The tour helped us focus our thoughts for the rest of our stay.

We spent a good three hours in the museum but, to be honest, we could have stayed for five hours and we still wouldn't have seen it all. There are so many memories housed within the building. Photos, people's belongings, recordings of phone calls people made to emergency services and to loved ones. Large pieces of metal bent and twisted from the buildings serve as poignant reminders of the force they were damaged by.

The "last wall standing" was recovered from the rubble and now stands proud at the heart of the building. Before it was removed family of the people who perished had written names and left messages on its facade. Some had also attached photos and possessions to help with their grief.

We observed others as they walked around. Compared to outside the building where people were on mobile phones, chatting and laughing together and getting on with life, this deep vault of a building is hushed, peaceful and calm. Nothing like it would have been on that fateful day. It's almost surreal.

The choir instantly slowed their pace as the realisation of what we were seeing dawned on us. These were people like us, going about their business that day.  Walking alongside the remains of the staircase that many people used, then hearing a man speak on a voice recording, recounting that he remembered thinking that he was running down them to safely while firefighters were passing him on the other side, running up to their fate was almost too much to bear for the group.

To pay our respects a message from Cheshire Fire Choir was electronically written on a wall. This appeared for a brief second before disappearing to make way for other people's thoughts.

We came out of the museum with heavy hearts and headed for our next appointment literally across the road. Maybe we shouldn't have arranged our next stop to Ladder 10, Station 10 so close to the museum visit. How were we going to face these firefighters after what we had just experienced?

Last updated: Friday 12 February 2016

Related images

Cheshire Fire Choir in New YorkWhere words fail music speaks - message left by the Fire Choir


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Last updated: Monday, 6 March 2023