(all images - click on to enlarge)
This was the view of the Twin Towers, officially known as the World Trade Center, from New York Harbor.
They were a part of every New Yorker's view each day as they towered majestically over our city's skyline. Everyday that we now see the big hole in the sky, where they once stood, our hearts feel an incredible loss.
We can never forget how innocent men, women and children were going about their daily lives on September 11, 2001, going to work or going on a trip, in the Towers in Manhattan, in the Pentagon in Washington DC, and on four airplanes, and were killed in the cruelest attack the United States has ever encountered between its shores.
We can never forget the incredible bravery of the rescue workers who saved many lives that day, and then lost their own.
I will never forget the deep chill of fear for the lives of family members, both in New York and Washington DC, and being overcome with relief when I found they were all safe, and then crying a million tears afterwards as I listened to the terribly sad stories of friends, co-workers and strangers who lost someone that day.
I can never forget the long lines of dress blue uniforms and the cry of bagpipes as fireman after fireman's funeral were held in my neighborhood of Brooklyn, and in other neighborhoods in the city.
Ultimately I remember feeling incredibly proud of my city, my country, and much of the world, as many rallied with support and kindness, solidarity and strength, to help in any way possible, and to share our shock and grief.
This statue of Jesus holding the Twin Towers is in the churchyard of St. Ephrem's RC Church in the Bay Ridge neighborhood of Brooklyn , New York.
I have posted before about Ground Zero and The FDNY's Memorial Wall, and St Paul's Chapel that was across the street from the Twin Towers, and I've shown the Rescue Workers Memorial on the walls outside Brooklyn's Minor league team The Cyclones, Keyspan Park, but today I'd like to show you another 9/11 memorial, "Angels' Circle" in Staten Island, a borough of New York City.
Staten Island was one of the hardest hit communities on 9/11, losing nearly 270 loved ones in the terrorist attacks. While the borough has a beautiful official memorial that you can see here, I think this little traffic island that has evolved to become known as "Angels' Circle" is an even more powerful and poignant memorial to the members of that community that were lost on 9/11. Angels’ Circle, located on a traffic island at Fingerboard Road and Hylan Boulevard in the Grasmere neighborhood, memorializes the Staten Islanders who were killed during the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. The memorial’s creator and caretaker is Wendy Pellegrino and a local florist maintains the shrubs and flowers that surround the circle.
Photos of the victims are all lined up in rows of circles, each with a light that illuminates them at night.
This is what is inscribed on the base of the angel above.
After the tragic events of 9/11 many New Yorkers saw the faces of the thousands of missing posted everywhere on walls and hospitals in New York. When the sad realization became known that they were lost forever, they slowly came down. But in some areas of the city, such as this, those photos evolved to permanent memorials.
Young and old, civilian and rescue worker, male and female, mothers, fathers,husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, children, neighbors, co-workers, best friends, strangers .... all these smiling faces were lost that day. May they all rest in peace.
Many families visit, sit on the benches and leave mementos behind, birthdays and anniversaries are celebrated here in memory of the loved one.
For many families who never received remains to bury, it is like a cemetery that they can visit to honor and remember their loved one.
They are all angels now!
A beautiful short video about Angels' Circle, how it came about, and how it is maintained, can be viewed here .
Please say a prayer for all the lives lost that day.
May we never forget the horror of 9/11, but may we also make it a day to help make the world a kinder, more understanding, and tolerant place.