Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Story Keeper . . .

World Trade Center Site
One World Trade Center
formerly known as
Freedom Tower
is one thousand seven hundred seventy six feet tall
 and symbolic of the date of
United States independence
 It is the tallest skyscraper in America.

rises high above
where the twin towers once stood
and looks over the two square cascading waterfalls
where the falls disappear thirty feet into a center void.

This is the 9/11 memorial site.


The pools are surrounded by bronze panels
with the names of those who died on 9/11.

A memorial park
also surrounds the cascading pools
with three hundred oak trees.

a place of remembrance

I have felt a need to go to the site since 9/11 occurred.
Jack too felt a need to visit ground zero.
When we arrived we knew, for us,
it was the right decision for us to be there..
Construction surrounds this entire area,
evidence of new is being built
although there is much which is still in the repair process.
We were amazed at the tons of security remaining.
We were also amazed at the warm and courteous responses
from the people we would meet,
those visiting
as well as those dressed
in blue work clothes and three piece suits.
The 9/11 museum you see above 
will open in 2014.
As we began our exit
we both began looking for bathrooms
without much luck..
I remembered seeing the sign for
O'Hara's Pub
and having an Irish connection
I suggested to Jack we stop in there.
It was around noon,
we walked into the pub and we were greeted by
a strapping, handsome, deep voiced gracious man.
He immediately noticed Jack's pullover with an Ireland logo
and the conversation began.
I knew we couldn't just walk in there and ask to use the bathrooms
so I stepped up to the bar and ordered a glass of wine.
Jack gave me one of those WHAT looks, like, it is only eleven in the morning
 and kept on visiting with the bartender.
And then, the most amazing serendipitous moment . . .
the bartender was a New York City fireman and
was one of the early 9/11 firemen to respond.
He witnessed the tragedy and the death of one of his fireman buddies.
He hugged us over to the bar and said he had something to show us
and brought out this memorial book.
The photos following are from the book,
(I asked for permission to take pictures of the book and photos.)

The bartender, former NYC Fireman
rescuing a dog.

O'Hara's was closed for eight months.
This is the photo of their reopening day.
The main level of the pub has reopened but not the level above.. 

Not sure how long we visited
another couple came in and sat at the other end of the bar
and the bartender took the book for them to see too.



We were so moved by our visit to ground zero
and the meeting with the fireman. 
It looks like our experience is one several others have also had

We looked up
O"Hara's Pub
when we arrived home and found that
O'Hara's is frequented by many and
others have also been touched by their story.

A You Tube video is also available.
A Pub Finds A New Identity in the Shadow of Ground Zero

We think the fireman/bartender's name may be
Tim  Duffy


Margaret Adamson said...

HI Lynne Oh that was a very special day and trip for you both. Wonderful photos of the new builds but finding the bar and Tim with his book of memories was very special. Thanks for sharing.

~Kim at Golden Pines~ said...

What an amazing and inspirational trip. I hope to make the same one some day--Thanks for sharing your experience, it makes me a bit more determined to keep it on my 'bucket list.'

Kerin said...

What touching pictures, and thoughts. Thank you for sharing them.

I'm not sure is I'll ever make that trip to see those things for myself, so thanks again for sharing your experience.


missy said...

Thanks so much for your post..I haven't seen that spot since it was a hole in the ground..Beautiful but so very sad..Tough time for our country. Hope it's the last..

Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams said...

Your story began with such sadness, it seems that no matter how they rebuild, it will always have that air of solemnity..and it should, this was a devastating moment in American history.

But I am so glad that you went into that pub, sadness shared is lessened..and the bartender seems like an amazing person.


Vicki @ lifeinmyemptynest said...

I was so touched by the sight of the freedom tower too. How fortunate you came across that pub to add to the 911 story. There are wonderful people in NYC - not the rude people you always hear about at all!

Anonymous said...

What a special time you two had. Trip of a lifetime for sure. It's on my bucket list. :)

Leslie said...

Hi Lynne, First time stopping by and now following you via google!

I think we ALL need to visit ground zero. We have yet to see this so I am really enjoying your photos. Thank you for sharing. ..something we should never forget.


Anonymous said...

I got to visit a traveling exhibit of artifacts from the Trade Centers and Ground Zero, it was very emotional.. I cannot imagine getting to stand there...

At Home in English Valley said...

Lynne, I understand how people are drawn to ground zero, since we were all there that day... We can see the new tower from my daughter's neighborhood. I often think about what it was like, to see the towers disappear that beautiful September day... Leave it to you to make a friend, a beautiful memory...and for bringing us with. You are amazing! Love, Penny

Joyce said...

Oh Lynne, thank you so much for sharing this. I've only seen pictures, which I never tire of seeing, and I've not heard of the pub before. What a unique opportunity he is taking to spread the story. I have flown over Ground Zero on my way to LaGuardia Airport {before the new building}. Quite a gaping hole. Never, never forget. Your pictures are lovely. You had a lovely day. Love the sky color. Joyce

Musings from Kim K. said...

This was meant to happen. I'm so glad you were able to share this experience with the rest of us. Welcome home.

Sarah Huizenga said...

What a wonderful moment to share with that bartender. The kindness of others is always amazing. Your photos captured the feeling of the place so well.

Pamela Gordon said...

I didn't get to this site or memorial either. I was disappointed that we didn't have time to do it. I also missed Central Park and the MOMA. Your pictures are wonderful.

Cindy said...

I'm moved, we also found the need to go to ground zero. We are heading there this Winter. Your pictures are wonderful, what memories this book has touched.

Rain said...

I haven't been able to visit this yet..... For years I lived and worked in NYC...... And looked at the twin towers every day... Off in the distance ....... My friend worked there and for many hours we didn't know that he was uptown that morning at a Dr appt..... It takes a long long time to heal sometimes.....
The tribute is awesome......
Thanks for sharing Lynne
Rain <3

Rural Revival said...

Goose bumps, numbness and disbelief still...the images in the book relaying more than I've ever seen before.