A few years ago my mother, brother and I took a trip to New York City. It was my first time in the Big Apple, and almost every preconception I had of the mega-metropolis went right out the window.

I thought it would be terrifying to walk around in the middle of the night, that we would be mugged every other day, and that I we were to trip that people would walk right over us as if we weren't even there.

I was 100% wrong.  If that was the case in the past, it certainly was not like that when we were there.  Maybe it all changed after 9/11, maybe not.  All I know is that I felt safer walking through the streets of New York than I do walking through the streets of Flint.  I was also shocked at how polite and well-mannered New Yorkers are.

We saw some incredible things during our visit but my favorite stop, hands down, was our visit to the 9/11 Memorial.  Built on the site where the twin towers once stood, stepping into the memorial is like stepping out of the big city and into a place of silence, somberness and remembrance.  You can't hear the roaring of New York City traffic, only the sound of the waterfalls from the two pools built on the footprints of the twin towers.

It's hard to describe the feelings that surge through you when you see the steel beams that were bent and disfigured, the fire helmets that were found in the rubble, and the names of each victim from the towers, the planes that were hijacked and the Pentagon.