As we walked through Manhattan toward the southern part of the island, we spotted the memorial tower. It stood out against the other buildings, like a light-filled beacon. It was hard not to stop and think about our distance from the tower and imagine, with immense sadness, what it must have been like for the people in NYC on September 11th. A day that changed everything.

The memorial was constructed by Israeli architect, Michael Arad of Handel Architects. The vision for the memorial was simple yet profound: two square pools in the center of a park to symbolize the location of the Twin Towers. The effect is enormous.

When we walked up to the pools, my breath left my chest. I couldn’t speak and I was overcome with emotion. To think of the people who lost their lives there, the first responders who dove in selflessly to save lives and to the citizens of New York who were forever affected by an attack on their city, was overwhelming.

The visionaries for this memorial brought this area to life in an incredible thoughtful way and it’s such a beautiful way to remember those who list their lives on 9/11.The pools feel like they go on forever and the darkness in the center of the pools feels heavy — like it has actual weight. If you are in New York, be sure to make this a stop on your travels.