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As I entered the 9/11 Memorial for the first time last Thursday morning, my first impression was of all the hard-hat re-construction activity still surrounding the site, all these years later. Within the memorial, security is everywhere. Then, as I approached the falls outlining where one of the buildings stood, two strikingly different impressions arose amidst the quiet and the rush of water. First, a volunteer led a group of four to a name on the rail, and he wiped away the mist covering the sought after name. The lady burst into tears, leaning over the stainless steel rail, as a young boy threw his arms around her in comfort. They had made a connection with their past. Around the corner of the pool, I then spied a couple planning to take a picture over the pool: the young women stepped back with the camera, and the man happily smiled toward her in posing, as if he were at the edge of the Grand Canyon. To these likely tourists, I imagined this was another fun and interesting outing in a lively visit to the Big Apple.  Just 12 years on, I think I witnessed the slow transition of the 9/11 site from a somber memorial to death and destruction, into a touristic park-like place. How time changes perspective.

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