If yesterday’s theme was “frozen,” today’s was “soaking, sopping, wet.” Honestly, the water was over my ankles at some points. However, today’s first engagement was one that I had been most looking forward to since the tour program was announced, so even though my waterproof coat is still drying thirteen hours later, it was worth every moment of discomfort.
This morning, in a Nor’easter, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum to pay their respects to the thousands of lives lost on September 11, 2001 – a day that changed this city, this country, this world forever.
I was young when the September 11th terrorist attack happened, but thirteen years later, I still remember what I was wearing, what I was doing and how I felt in that moment. Walking outside of school and seeing clouds of black ash in the sky, praying for my family members as they went into the city to volunteer, and hearing my dad stay up through the night tracking cellphone signals to try to find survivors.
A few months ago, I visited the museum and don’t think I have been so overwhelmed with emotion since the day itself. It is overpowering. To see William and Kate, two iconic figures from another country, who had never visited New York City before, spend so much time and be so moved by that place.. it meant a lot to me.
When Kate, like a flash of brightness and hope in her pink coat, stood at the reflecting pool of the South Tower and placed white roses on the ledge, suddenly I wasn’t so cold, I wasn’t so wet… I was in that moment, watching someone who had no real ties to the events of that day or this place, so in “awe” of her surroundings. It is times like this, and times like that fateful day, where the US-UK bond is smack you in the face evident.
So thank you, William and Kate, for braving the elements along with us to help New York City show the world that you cannot keep us down. You try to push us over, we will come back stronger than ever. The memorial and museum are proof of that. Please visit the next time you are in New York City.
Photo Credits: Kelly Harrison 2014