The following is a reprint of a post I originally published on September 11, 2009: In Remembrance of 9/11: Haunt Jaunting to Ground Zero.
HauntJaunts.net extends its sympathies to all those affected by the events that transpired on September 11, 2001, now forever known as simply 9/11.
But there’s nothing simple about what happened on that day, or about all the lives lost and families and friends forever haunted by the loss of their loved ones.
Not that their loved ones mean to haunt them. It’s just that it’s only natural for people who lose someone so suddenly and tragically to wish they’d known what was coming so they could have said just one more thing. Like “I love you.” Or “I’m sorry.” Or “Thank you.”
I know a lot of people made Haunt Jaunts to Ground Zero after the events of 9/11. They weren’t necessarily trying to find ghosts, though. Some were drawn by what could be considered a morbid fascination. Others were motivated by guilt and wondered, “Why not me? Why am I still here?” Yet others were driven out of a sense of patriotism, an urge to pay their respects at the site of fallen countrymen.
I’ve never been there myself. There are some places I’m curious to Haunt Jaunt to, but I’m just not sure how I’d react. Among them are the beaches of Normandy, Auschwitz, and Ground Zero.
I don’t know what to call it, if I’m a sensitive or not. All I know is that there have been times, like with the Shilo Inn in St. Lake City, the Temple in Salt Lake City, or the fort or Harry’s restaurant in St. Augustine where I certainly wasn’t expecting to experience anything and sensed more than I bargained for. Sometimes, like with the Temple, my experience was pleasant. Other times, like with the Castillo de San Marcos, my heart felt heavy and my spirit uneasy. I knew even without seeing them that I was in the presence of ghosts.
Back then during those experiences I wasn’t aware I had this capacity –or whatever you want to call it. Now I am. And knowing makes me even more leery. A recent Jaunt to D.C. is to blame. I was bawling 5 minutes into our tour of the Holocaust Museum. And when we got to the part where beds from an actual camp were, I hustled out of the room. They were just beds for Pete’s sake but knowing who had laid on them…I almost threw up from the overwhelming grief I felt.
I’ve read accounts by people who’ve visited the site. Many describe the same thing: a palpable feeling of sadness, shock and grief. That’s why I’m not sure I could do Ground Zero. It might be too much to handle.
If you’ve ever Jaunted to Ground Zero, I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment.
Also, tonight the History Channel will be airing a new program: Hotel Ground Zero. Imagine being a tourist staying in a hotel (be it a Spooky Stay or not), and then something like 9/11 happens. That’s what the show’s about: the 900 plus people who were in the Marriott WTC that morning. (Not that they were Haunt Jaunting, but little did they know they’d forever be haunted afterwards.)
HauntJaunts.net waves the flag in remembrance. “We will never forget.”