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'Ground zero' an irresistible draw

NEW YORK (CNN) -- More than two weeks after the World Trade Center was attacked, many New Yorkers and tourists are making a pilgrimage of sorts, visiting the site of the ruins where the two landmark towers once stood.

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Police and National Guard members surround the 16-acre pile of debris known as "ground zero," but many people are milling about the surrounding side streets as the neighborhood slowly tries to return to normal life.

Building fronts are covered with ash and store windows are scrawled with graffiti like: "United we stand" and "God bless America."

Although signs warn to refrain from taking photographs because of security reasons, many people cannot resist the urge to record the images.

"I'm visiting New York and as a captain in the Army I feel obligated to come here and see what damage they did to us," said one man at the site.

"You know, you see it on television and then to come down here and really see it firsthand is just unbelievable, unbelievable," said another visitor. "The crane looked like a little Tonka toy compared to the rubble it was sitting on."

Those who are hoping to find answers by visiting the site are disappointed.

"I just can't understand why anyone would do this," a visitor commented. "It's just unbelievable, it just doesn't make sense."


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