But a real chilly wind blowing the spray around.
But a real chilly wind blowing the spray around.
A friend that is building the underground memorial heard the project is halted until 2013 because of DCM erectors file for bankruptcy
I found this thread:
Is somebody going to come in and run these people off, because they're not paying respects in an "officially correct" or "sanctioned" manner? I myself got screamed at on an NYC travel forum for asking about praying at the site before the memorial opened, or if making an offering of incense (in accordance with my tradition) was going to get me in trouble with anyone, even if I was careful not to block any sidewalk, or get in anyone's way. I was told in no uncertain terms that my sincerely held beliefs were nothing more than a desire to be provocative and instigate controversy, and that I was nothing more than a disrespectful attention seeker for wanting to pray or make an offering at all. I was also told that anyone wishing to pray needed to go to St Paul's- not really an option for many non-Christians who wish to offer respects. (Some non-Christians might feel it's disrespectful to their own deity to pray in another house of worship, or disrespectful to the deity which said place is dedicated to, to come in, and start praying to another diety altogether.) Somebody else vented their spleen at me in regards to religion in general, saying they didn't ever want to see ANY evidence of other people's beliefs in public. Hmm..given the sheer number of religious traditions in NYC, I doubt they're gonna get their way, but anyhow..
I sincerely hope that the memorial isn't being run by people with such a mentality- that there is only one "correct" way to show respect, and everybody else needs to be chased off with extreme prejudice, or shamed for not following "protocol".
I am curious to see how the site will evolve and fit into the fabric of the community as the site moves toward completion, becoming less a construction site, and more a finished space. Currently I understand the need for some form of crowd/access control, due to the level of activity surrounding the site. But will this be a permanent thing, with the memorial strictly presided over, or will things be loosened up somewhat, and the space allowed to become part of the overall fabric of the area, a true public area?
btw- I mentioned the hostility I got on another forum with a decent number of New Yorkers, and they were horrified, reacting somewhere along the lines of "They were giving you grief for wanting to pray? What monstrous people!"
So, I'm a volunteer at the memorial. The advice we get consistently is to let people remember and to respect the memorial. The visitors are divided into two groups, visitors and family members. We are extremely cautious about approaching people as they may be paying respects to family and friends.
The memorial is also a park. People are free to come and do what they want. I am frequently asked about whether it's OK to leave flowers, toys etc. and it is always OK.
I would suggest overt displays of prayer would be discouraged but really, people are left to their own thoughts and ways to pay their respects. No-one on staff wants to be the person that told a family member they couldn't burn an incense stick at the memorial.
We do however frequently ask members of the public to respect the place by not smoking or standing in the beds, and recently we're concerned about people standing on the granite seats due to the weather. Those are safety and respect constraints and I believe are applied with an absolute level of friendliness and openness towards visitors and family members.
The site is quite remarkable in it's ability to affect the mood of visitors from tourist to respectful mourner. It can be unexpectedly emotional. I've seen people just standing or touching the survivor tree to connect with life before 911. Everyone on staff is aware and reminded of the sacredness and sanctity and any interaction with family members raises that awareness acutely.
I hope that gives a perspective. As I said I'm a volunteer not an employee but given the level of public access that volunteers have I hope it gives a view of how the site views it's responsibilities to the memorial and visitors.
pbellamy:Thank you for volunteering there. I'd like to think the volunteers are a sort of buffer, or even liaison between the public & the security officers, to avoid any heavy-handedness they're used to doling out as with drunks in Times Square. I agree there should be no smoking at this site; there is plenty of room right outside the site to light up. Did the people you ushered off the granite understand it was for their own safety, or did they grumble?
I haven't been there yet, hopefully before the warm weather of spring kicks in, but I also agree that the site can change people while they're there. That it changes their perspective from viewing it as simply a site with concrete, granite, & trees to what it was meant for.
Amanita: The people who have a problem with private observances there for loved ones or for those lost as a whole, must not be into the personal freedom they're usually squawking about. If you're not being loud, obnoxious, or interfering with anyone else's reflection or observance, then you do what you want & don't give a second's thought to some stranger's maladjustment.
Thank you for the post. I did not want to go to the Memorial after hearing that the security is like at an airport. But since I had visitors who wanted to see the site, I went. The experience of accessing theMemorial was a bit like an airport, but with a twist. All the security workers and volunteers were friendly and went out of their way to make us feel welcome. We all appreciated that. I am looking forward to a free Memorial, where everyone can come and go without being checked. I hope it will happen in my lifetime, but I am not holding my breath.
Thanks, Pbellemy and mariab! I honestly would have no problem with sharing the space with a group of Christians who chose to pay respects by having a small prayer circle, or singing a hymn to comfort the spirits of the departed. Nor would I be upset by hearing anyone else having their own observance. As long as they're not browbeating others into joining them, I see no harm in it.
I'm glad that security there isn't using the heavy handed approach so often seen elsewhere- I work security myself, and have learned that in some situations, heavy-handedness causes more problems than it solves. Yes it has its place- dealing with belligerent drunks, troublemakers, and the like. But I'm glad that people here are being generally left to their own devices, as long as the safety of themselves and the site is respected.
US Constitution First Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"
Free Exercise Clause.Quote:
Nor would I be upset by hearing anyone else having their own observance.
Well, to give you a sense of today. It was beautiful at the Memorial. Interestingly a group of around 50 Amish folk came in and sang at the site - no problem with that happening and tbh it adds to the atmosphere.
As for the entry, it is a trial at the moment but it is helped by the amazing attitude of all the staff there. Everyone knows why security is tight but you will always find the staff and volunteers talking and engaging with visitors. I think the volunteers really help in this as they are not there all day dealing with the same complaints and grumbles.
It's really all about attitude. People don't mind being asked not to stand on granite if you tell them that it's about their safety not just for the sake of a rule.
I think you'll find access to the site will get easier. We already upped the number of passes and it is much easier to get those passes. Where it gets messy is the availability of day passes for last minute visitors and just the volume of people going through the screening room.
My final thought, this morning I had the whole memorial to myself pre-opening. Standing looking into the pools alone is just awesome and humbling.
Just last night/this morning I was reading through a book of mine titled "The Pagan Book of Living and Dying", which includes stories, prayers, chants, poems and rituals concerning every facet of death and dying. One in particular jumped out at me. It was as if it had been written for the victims of 9/11 and those left behind. But the eerie thing was, it was written years before. I may just bring the book with me next time I come, and do a reading. Silently if alone, or together with others if I can get friends to come along with me. I admit the idea of holding a short ceremony there by myself or with a group is an intriguing one, I've got some readings and chants that would be perfect.
BTW, I'm glad this discussion has remained civil. On the aforementioned travel forum, I'm not the only one to be raked over the coals by people with axes of various sorts to grind, and on another forum I'm on, people there seem to be extremely self righteous, easily offended, and touchy. Not just about 9/11, even events such as Pearl Harbor, which happened long before the people there were ever born. One person there mentioned doing a skit for a convention where Pearl Harbor was mentioned in passing, and got trashed for three pages straight by people (mostly teenagers) saying how it was "too soon", and how offensive it was to even mention it, in any context. And on top of that a moderator who has crowned herself The Sole Arbiter of What's Offensive about 9/11, based solely on the fact that her boyfriend was in NYC that day, and what he might have seen.
Well, that's a different forum.
Yeah, some places have a whole other dynamic going, not necessarily a healthy or positive one. I'm just glad this place isn't like that, and cooler heads prevail than "OMG I'm American and I'm offended!"