Good morning! Today is the sixth and final day of our New York City tour. It’s also our final singing performance and the last day with Claire Hodge as the Girls Choir director, after nearly 16 years of service. This definitely will be an emotional day for all of us as we say goodbye.
After breakfast, we’ll board our motorcoach and head to the financial district and the 9/11 Tribute Center and Memorial. The center offers visitors to the World Trade Center site a place where they can connect with people from the 9/11 community. Through walking tours, exhibits and programs, the 9/11 Tribute Center offers “person-to-person history,” linking visitors who want to understand these historic events with the people who experienced them. Stories from the 9/11 community are a bridge from the past to the present, helping students understand the significant impact of 9/11 in history and in shaping the future. As memorable as that day was for most of us, we have to remind ourselves that we have a good number of choristers in the choir who weren’t even born when the terrorist attacks occurred. It’s important for them to understand the impact of that day.
Then we’ll move over to the 9/11 Memorial, the principal memorial commemorating the September 11 attacks, which killed nearly 3,000 people, and the World Trade Center bombing of 1993, which killed six. The memorial consists of two pools with the largest manmade waterfalls in the U.S. cascading down their sides at the footprints of the Twin Towers. Each pool is 1-acre and together they are intended to symbolize the loss of life and the physical void left by the terrorist attacks. The sound of the water falling is supposed to drown out the sounds of the city, making the site a contemplative sanctuary. Almost 400 sweet gum and swamp white oak trees fill the remaining 6 acres of the Memorial Plaza, furthering the reflective nature of the site.
At 12:30 we’ll participate in a prayer service at St. Paul’s Chapel, followed by our concert at 1pm inside the chapel. Then it’s back on the motorcoach for the Newark Liberty International Airport and our flight home to Orlando.