By Joe Riedel, Director of Business Development at Straub Construction.

National 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Earlier this year, my wife and I traveled to New York and took a guided tour of the National 9/11 Memorial & Museum. This powerful experience featured interactive exhibits, narratives and artifacts of the tragic day in 2001. The thoughtful design of the space and attention to detail was astounding.  In addition to the many artifacts, the museum offers a solemn guided audio tour where visitors can hear recordings of 911 calls from that day and stories from survivors recounting witnessed acts of heroism. 

Where were you?

I will never forget the terrorist attacks on September 11. I was working at a client site in Lawrence, Kansas when I first heard the news. At the time, I didn’t fully comprehend what had happened. I was only able to understand the loss, the tragedy and the impact it had on those who had lost loved ones. 

Never Forget

18 years later, visiting the 9/11 Memorial & Museum helped shift my perspective.  Now, reflecting back on that day, I recognize the heroism and bravery of the people, both uniformed and civilian. I think about the resilience of our country. We will never forget the losses, but we will always remember the bravery of the individuals who sacrificed their lives to help others. 

Soon after the tragedy, an artist painted this mural on the garage door (later donated to the museum) of a firehouse in Brooklyn Heights NY. 

The “slurry wall”. Originally built to hold back the waters of the Hudson River to construct the Twin Towers, engineers and construction workers took immediate action ensure the wall’s stability and the safety of the crews.

The Last Column. This 36-foot-tall column was the final column to be removed. Transported for conservation, it was replaced in the museum and adorns memorabilia and messages from iron workers, responders and rescue crews.

North Tower waterfall and reflecting pool. There are two memorial pools that each represent the original locations of the North and South towers and are surrounded by the names of the victims.

FDNY Ladder 3 Truck. The truck’s front end was crushed by falling debris. The FDNY lost 343 active-duty members in the attacks. 

Survivors’ Stairs. Hundreds of people escaped to safety down the escalator and stairs that led to Vesey Street. This was the last visible remaining structure above ground from original WTC site.