This week, and especially today, New Yorkers remember the day on which Muslim terrorists hijacked planes and flew into the World Trade Center towers, killing almost 3000 civilians. I’m not going to delve into the politics and debates surrounding it, but rather give you my perspective on what it’s like living here at a time like this.
For the most part, life goes on and you don’t notice anything drastic. But then you stop and think, and you realise that the helicopters have been noisier than usual as they patrol the sky. You see in the news that there have been some new threats, but you try to brush them off, because we can’t live in constant fear — that’s exactly what those people want.
You walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and see the progress of the new One World Trade Center building, and wonder if the two cranes on top are symbolic in the way they are raised.
(Wow, looking at this photo, you can tell that our banner above is quite out of date by now!)
You walk on Wall Street and you see guys with big guns.
You take the Staten Island Ferry and you notice that the boat is being escorted by the coast guard.
You walk near Ground Zero and you see the many tributes from people who pledge “We will not forget.”
You see news crews, local and foreign. (Though this was probably some sort of financial news seeing that it was on Wall Street.)
This French reporter was definitely doing a thing on 9/11, though.
You see the Tribute in Light.
For the most part, we have avoided Ground Zero because of the crowds this weekend, except for walking past Saint Paul’s on Friday and going to church today. Church is about 5 blocks from Ground Zero, so we’ve been keeping up with the progress of the tower since we came to New York. Ben, Margaret and Marica are at church today, I’m home with a tummy-sick Esther. When Ben’s home, I’ll let him write a bit below about what he saw.
We wandered near to Ground Zero after church. There were tons of people, and cops and other uniformed people were everywhere (firemen, police from Canada, etc). They’d closed off the area right near the site of the towers for a memorial ceremony for the families of the victims. Apparently the memorial will be open to the general public starting tomorrow.
It seems that it helps people cope telling their stories. There are so many stories, but if you’re interested, here are a few:
Some people’s retelling of what life was like shortly after the attacks.
The theme of people’s last words.
The pilot who should have been flying flight 11 tells his moving story.
The story of a volunteer.
A New York Times map of where people were and how they felt.
This is all cause for thought. It is good to remember, but it is also good to forgive, and move on. It’s good to learn from these things and to remember that God is ultimately in control. It’s a reminder that we are like the flowers of the field — here today, gone tomorrow — and that we should live meaningful lives, lives that make a positive difference to others, lives that shine the love of Jesus. Remember to love.
Thank you. Remembering to hate, and indulging in non-stop anger is how too many people are living now. Love, which is the very essence of our Lord, has been denigrated by too many for too long. We were damaged 10 years ago. We can heal and grow, but only when we are willing to be healed.