We inadvertently stumbled across Ground Zero and the Freedom Tower this afternoon. We'd planned to visit the memorial in a couple of days time, but came across it quite by accident as we were wandering through the financial district North towards Tribeca.
We'd both watched in horror back in 2001, as the 9/11 attacks unfolded in front of us on TV. This meant we didn't have any sense of the enormity of the event; no frame of reference whatsoever. So seeing the two blackened holes in the ground, plunging into darkness beneath the Freedom Tower was quite an eye-opener.
As a work of living art, it's spectacularly well executed; a bold and sombre monument to a human catastrophe that transformed the world forever. It's just a shame to see so many young visitors pouting for selfies in front of it, like it was some ancient monument they had no emotional connection with.
The names of every one of the of souls lost that day are meticulously inscribed around its edge. Reading them gives you a sobering perspective of the thousands of individual human tragedies that occurred that day, often obscured in memory by the overwhelming spectacle of aeroplanes and twisted girders.