Poconos Stories and Tips

New Jersey's "Empty Sky" 9/11 Memorial

NJ's Empty Sky Memorial Photo, Jersey City, New Jersey

Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky
Empty sky, empty sky
I woke up this morning to an empty sky
Lyrics from "Empty Sky" by Bruce Springsteen (2002)

When we first arrived at Jersey City's Liberty State Park, we had a difficult time finding where to park for the Statue Cruise ferry to the Statue of Liberty. We initially drove past their ticket building to a side parking lot that was noted "Two hour parking only" so we had to find the "other" parking where visitors were to pay the $7 daily fee.

It was fortunate, however, that we did a little drive-about through the park's parking lots as it was at the end of the free parking, facing New York City's Manhattan skyline that I noted the 9/11 memorial. With no time to really explore, we made a point to revisit the area after our Statue of Liberty visit in order to get out of the car and really spend some time there.

New Jersey's "Empty Sky" 9/11 Memorial is a tribute to the 746 New Jerseyans who lost their lives in the attacks of September 11, 2001. Not only the New Jersey lives lost in the World Trade Center attacks, but also those at the Pentagon in Virginia and on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania are honored.

The memorial was designed to focus your sights directly at the empty sky where once stood the two towers of the World Trade Center (WTC). The two stainless steel walls are 210 feet long representing the width of each of the WTC buildings. At 30 feet tall, they have the names of each of the 746 souls who perished engraved in four inch lettering and at a height to allow visitors to "touch" those lost. The engraving was done in such a manner and deep enough to allow for such a personal interaction with the memorial wall.

Fortunately, we did not lose anyone on that dreadful day. Still, this memorial was deeply moving especially as we walked down the bluestone walkway between the two walls. Looking at the New York City skyline and seeing emptiness where the towers once stood was a stark reminder of how America was changed forever.

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