PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Although I have written several times about my friends and acquaintances who perished on 9/11, I could not bring myself to visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, which opened on Sept 11, 2011.This summer, however, I finally went. On a beautiful sunny weekday in June, my wife, Laura, and I visited the memorial wall with the names of my friends Timothy O'Sullivan and Thomas Farrelly, along with Vietnam War hero Retired Col. Cyril Richard Rescorla, who was in the Army Reserve at the same time as I was.The plaza was mobbed with students and tourists from around the world. They were not boisterous but I quickly realized that the 9/11 Memorial and Museum had become a "must see" place when visiting New York City, much like the Empire State Building, Central Park, or Rockefeller Plaza. Of course, 115 countries lost citizens in the attack, and thousands of mourners visit daily the site where their loved ones spent their last moments alive.It was not entirely the quiet, mournful place that I expected.The 9/11 Memorial and Museum publishes rules and regulations that state, "Proper decorum, personal behavior and conduct is required from all visitors at all times in order to provide the entire visiting public with respect."I believe visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum is like visiting the battlefield of Gettysburg, Omaha Beach, or Arlington National Cemetery. Many visitors perhaps fail to understand that they are walking on hallowed ground.I felt the difference in demeanor between those visitors who may have been attracted to the memorial by a sense of history, and other visitors who may have a personal connection with the casualties of that tragic day, visitors who could attach faces to names.Of the 2,983 men, women, and children killed in the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and Feb. 26, 1993, nearly half have yet to be identified. Within the museum is a laboratory still working to identify remains by newer techniques not available 16 years ago. As of August, 2017, only 1,641 victims have been identified.My friend Timothy O'Sullivan was among those identified. I remember him for giving me my first summer job when I was in high school and for our shared love of military history.Thomas Farrelly was my high school math teacher and track coach. He loved his job because he loved the students. He mentored me as a young man. Farrelly's remains were never found.Rescorla, who was born in the United Kingdom and lived in Morristown, survived the 1965 Vietnam Battle of Ia Drang. He is the Soldier pictured on the book jacket cover of the best seller, "We Were Soldiers Once...And Young."Rescorla was described by his battalion commander, the late Army Lt. Gen. Hal Moore, as "the best platoon leader I ever saw." On the morning of 9/11, Rescorla, a security consultant with Morgan Stanley, was credited in saving all but six of 2,700 employees. Rescorla was last seen on the 10th floor of the South Tower, searching for more survivors to help rescue. His remains were never found.All that remains now of so many is their names etched in bronze. When I put my hand over their names, I want to tell them that the etched names don't seem like enough, that they deserve more, and that more attention should be paid.I try to say this, all the while failing badly in my attempt to hold back tears.