new york city and ground zero

Ground Zero:radmomcoolkid

In August, Sadie and I had the chance to travel to the East Coast for my brother’s open house.  While out there, we decided to take a day and go to the city.  It was my first time in NYC…. unless you count flying through JFK a few times. We started out the day strong by getting ripped off by street vendors.  Word to the wise, never trust a place that doesn’t advertise their prices.  They will take you for a ride.  I didn’t mind as much as my brother did.  The guy told me I was pretty… that was worth like $3 alone.  After drinking our overpriced smoothies and hotdogs, we headed in to Central Park.  Seriously that place is a little slice of heaven.  Sadie loved seeing all of the people doing different things.  She danced to some of the musicians and made dog noises as the dog people passed.  It was awesome.  We explored Belvedere Castle and Turtle Pond while there and just let it all soak in.  It really is incredible to be in the park and hear no noise; even though you are surrounded by one of the busiest cities in the world.  I loved it.

Ground Zero:radmomcoolkid

After the park, we just kind of roamed.  We ate at Shake Shack, which was delicious.  I highly recommend it.  Especially because there are a million of them in the city.   If they have any of their house lemonade as a special, get it.  You will thank me later.  After, we went to Time Square and Radio City Music Hall.  We also walked by the Empire State building on our way to Zara and Uniqlo (priorities, people).  The subway was pretty much our best friend all day long.  I definitely wish we had a subway in Utah.  I actually just wish there was a city like New York closer.  I loved seeing so much diversity and the different cultures come together.  The subway was like a little slice of diversity heaven all packed in to a tiny train. It was awesome.



We didn’t really pack a whole lot in to our day because we had such a short time to spend there.  However, the one thing we all wanted to see was Ground Zero.  We waited until it cooled down a bit and then headed over. Because today is September 11th, I didn’t want to spend a lot of time focused on the rest of my time in the city.  The monument was the highlight of my trip and I really want this post to be more focused on it.

From the very second you step foot on the monument, there is a different feeling.  It is sacred ground. I felt like I couldn’t take it all in if I tried.  We arrived a little bit before 6 PM and were able to take a few pictures in front of the monuments before it got dark.  I wish I could describe the faces of all of the other observers that were there.  It was the only time I have seen that amount of reverence, except in a church.  Looking at the names of the thousands of people who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks was so humbling.  It made it more real.  I was on the other side of the country in an 8th grade sewing class when the towers went down.  Yet standing there, almost 13 years later, I felt so connected to it all. These weren’t strangers who lost their lives, they were people.  They were sons, daughters, mothers, fathers and they left families behind.

Ground Zero:radmomcoolkid

Everyday, the caretakers place white roses next to the name of each person who has a birthday on that day.  Walking around and seeing those who would have been celebrating their birthdays on the day we were there was heartbreaking.  As a teenager, I never realized what a tragedy the attacks were.  Scary? Yes. Tragic? I don’t think I could comprehend what a tragedy it was at that age.  Now as an adult and parent, I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to lose someone close to me; or to have been taken in such a violent way.

If you ever have a chance to go, take it.  Connect yourself to that piece of history.  Better yet, go to the museum.  The time and energy put into the exhibits is incredible.  While it may seem pricey, it is worth it.  So worth it.  You hear stories of the men and women who were not only in the towers, but also those who were on the planes.  You hear George W. Bush and Condoleeza Rice share the play by play of what they were thinking of when they were notified of the attacks.  You see timelines of what happened where.  You see actual ambulances that were crushed by debri while trying to rescue survivors.  Pieces of the plane that were recovered are on display.  All of this while standing in places that were crushed by the blows of the attacks.

And while this all may seem intense and dark.  You also see and feel the strength of the American people. You see crosses with words of hope written by thousands on them.  You hear stories of hundreds banding together to search and rescue survivors. There are audio snippets of what happened before the passengers on Unite Flight 93 overtook the hijackers.  Not only did it show the patriotism that exists in our country; but it was a testimony of the resiliency of the human spirit.  While an evil thing did happen, evil did not prevail.

This 9/11, remember those who lost their lives.  Remember the families they left behind.  And remember the strength that emerged in the midst of a horrible tragedy.

911 monument night

Check out Briton’s experiences in New York here and here.

Or see her day by day experiences in New York here: Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4Day 5Day 6

Sponsors // Affiliates


  1. Beautiful post. I had no idea about the roses on their birthdays. What a lovely tribute to those who died in such a terrible tragedy.

  2. Beautiful! It gave me chills! I have a massive wishlist to visit NYC and Ground Zero! I can’t imagine the feeling once there! I love the tidbit about the white roses. I’ve never heard that wonderfully sad! Thanks for sharing!!

Rad Mom Cool Kid

Rad Mom Cool Kid