Please forgive the quality this grainy photograph. I took it many years ago, in 1972, when I was still a young teenager with my little Instamatic film camera. I was on the Circle Line cruise ship that circles Manhattan island with my sister, my brother-in-law, and my younger brother. It was an overcast summer day and were were enjoying the cooler temperatures on the ship and taking photographs as if we were tourists. I was excited to get a photo of this view of the World Trade Center Twin Towers that were almost completed. You can see cranes on the upper floors that were still under construction. I never thought I'd see these buildings destroyed 29 years later on September 11, 2001.
This is a photo of my two children, taken in 1989, as they were standing in the glass tunnel that connected World Trade Center 7 with the plaza of the Twin Towers. My husband worked in 7 World Trade Center, and I often took my son and daughter to meet my husband for lunch during their summer vacations. We would often visit the observation deck on Tower 2 afterwards and marvel at the view we had of New York City at such a great height! Building 7 faced Tower One, and it was the last building to completely collapse on September 11, 2001. Thankfully everyone from building 7 escaped without harm that day, but I am sure that, like my husband, those workers lost many friends and colleagues that worked in Towers 1 and 2, and perhaps even family members. My older brother was a retired FDNY Lieutenant, and he knew many of the 343 firemen that perished that day. The event of 9-11 touched us all very personally.
Every year I feel an overwhelming sadness as 9-11 approaches, and for a few days afterward. I can't begin to imagine the sadness of those that lost a loved one that day. The attacks of 9-11 were not attacks on New York City or Washington DC -- they were attacks on the United States of America. We should all never forget that hatred was the core of these attacks, and that hatred in return does not bring back those who were lost and it does not help to change the world.
Am I dreaming to believe that extreme love is the answer to extreme hatred? Can doing good, being kind, promoting peace and understanding in our own lives help change the world? After 9-11 there was such an outreach of sorrow and love to all we saw--for days and weeks America pulled together as one. I am sad to see much of that sensitivity has disappeared in the ten years since. On this anniversary I want to examine my own life to see if I have kept the promises I made to myself as I watched those towers fall. Didn't we all promise we would appreciate our lives more, be kinder to those around us, and not take anything for granted? One of the things I decided on that fateful day was that I wanted to enjoy my own city more and go to all the places I had left for "someday." Seeing those towers fall made me realize that we can never take anything or anyone for granted. This blog has been an end product of going out and exploring New York City more closely
The following photos were taken by a co-worker of my husband, from a hotel restaurant window located across the street from the ground zero construction site. She graciously gave me permission to use them in this post. They have a wonderful perspective of the ground zero and all the new construction that one does not see from the ground.
Ten years later the new World Trade Center Tower is almost two thirds completed. One World Trade Center will be the tallest building in the United States, standing at a symbolic height of 1,776 feet. It is scheduled to open in 2013.
This is a zoomed in view of one of the two one acre waterfall memorial pools that stand in the footprints of the destroyed towers. The name of the waterfall memorials is "Reflecting Absence."
A view of both of the north and south waterfall memorial pools. Forty percent of the people that lost their lives in this area did not have their bodies recovered, so this area will also be a symbolic burial ground and place of remembrance for their families. The two square waterfall pools are the largest man made waterfalls in our country. The names of all 2983 victims of 9-11, including those that lost their lives in the attack on the Pentagon and those lost of the plane in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, as well as the six victims of February 1993 attack on the World Trade Center, are incised in bronze around the pools.
The white triangular building that you see between the two pools is the Memorial Museum. The Museum is growing a permanent collection of artifacts, stories, photos, video and other material, that shape our shared history of 9-11. Among the collection will be the World Trade Center Cross which composed of cross shaped steel beams, and was found amidst the debris of the World Trade Center, following the September 11, 2001 attacks, by a rescue/recovery worker. I have previously blogged about this cross on this post.
The Reflecting Absence memorial pools are being surrounded with trees, and this area will 0ne day be a quiet place to listen to the waterfalls and reflect on those lost.
I took the photos below of a beautiful memorial outside Saint Ephram's Church in Brooklyn, New York, in remembrance to the nine parishioners that lost their lives on 9-11.
The statue is called “Jesus taking the Towers to His Heart,” made by the The Demetz Art Studio.
A close up of this remarkably touching sculpture.
The scripture on the base of the statue.
Please say a prayer for the innocent lives lost on 9-11. Do something good in your community in their memory. Be part of the September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance. Learn more at the Understanding 9-11 web site.
Never forget! Let love be the answer, not hate.
I’m linking up today with Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.