This past weekend I had a rare and wonderful extra day off, and was lucky enough to spend a large portion of the three days in and around New York City. I hadn't been to the city in years and years, and despite my tendency to avoid attractions with long lines and huge crowds of people, I really looked forward to visiting the 9/11 Memorial. During college, one of my art history professors had showed us images of the projected plans for the site, so it was really interesting to compare the then-conceptualized with the now-realized structures. Though the memorial isn't finished, already you can see and feel how the area is becoming a sanctuary for the thousands who lost their lives in that very spot.
While we were waiting in line at the memorial my travel bud had spotted this pub, so after warming up for an hour or two, we trekked back out into the windy November evening for a few drinks. O'Hara's is the kind of pub where you feel at home, literally the moment you step inside. We got to talking with the bartender, Paul, and after the subject had been broached, I asked how they had been affected by the events on September 11th. He pulled out this amazing book, which held in its pages a truly amazing assortment of pictures, newspaper clippings and letters. We spent a long time flipping through the pages and I can honestly say that the events on that day have never felt so real to me. It is one thing to see images and hear audio on television and radio, and totally another to see personal photographs and talk to people who have lived through the mayhem. I am so glad that we stopped in here for a drink, and honestly will never forget some of the stories that were shared. And pretty fitting, given that Monday was Veteran's Day. I know I speak for all of us when I say how grateful I am for our men and women in uniform (be it military or otherwise).
To learn more about the memorial or to donate, click here.