Tuesday, September 11, 2012

9/11 Remembered

I was a kid when John Kennedy died. And when his brother Robert was shot... And when we lost a gentle giant in the death of Martin Luther King...

Like all momentous events, though, I can tell you exactly where I was, where I was standing, when I heard each of these things, even though I was a child...

How much more chilling to watch the events of September 11, 2001 unfold before us on live television... As adults...

I held a newborn baby in my arms, rocking her, tears streaming down my face in my living room. In my arms, a miracle. In my vision, disaster. We had family friends working there. My daughter had worked there a few years before, interning in the World Trade Center. She called me one day, wondering what it must be like for the thousands of people who worked above her... who came to work every day, knowing they were the number one terrorist target in the world, as if working in the financial district was inherently evil. She was only there one summer... And still felt the chill of evil.

Three years ago Dave and I stayed at the Millenium Hilton overlooking Ground Zero... Here is what it looked like in September of 2001:

Here is the hotel now...

This was our view in 2009...

And here is what Ground Zero looks like today:

Beautiful buildings, rising from the ashes of assault. The reflecting pools... the new trees. The memorial that we'll visit the next time we go to New York. You can get free tickets to visit the memorial HERE

I love going to New York City. Lawyer boy (one of my very cute four boys) lives there. He's not far from Ground Zero and each time I visit him, I must visit there... I believe in the power of prayer and I'm not afraid to pray at Ground Zero, for those gone and those to come. For the past several years it's been a sad sight/site. The housing crash of 2008 left many dull, dingy storefronts, businesses closed by financial upheaval.

This year?

Visiting Ground Zero and the beautiful financial district held hope. So much more so than in years past. And the small shops that closed along the streets of lower Manhattan?

Opening again!!!  I have pics on my smart phone, but it is smarter than I am and I can't get them to upload... and it takes a bajillion days to e-mail them to myself. So much for SMART. Oy.

Again, you say? It's been eleven years!!!  Well, population decreased abruptly as a result of 9/11 and the 2008 crash. Businesses bellied up... What looked like recovery, sank into oblivion. People talk about Wall Street as if it's simply a legion of rich people taking advantage.

But it's so much more. It's people living, working, walking babies, feeding Zelda the wild turkey that lives in Battery Park...

I've personally seen Zelda twice.... She's as real as you and me!

Walking the riverfront and waving to the Statue of Liberty.... Buying nuts from Nuts for Nuts... Grabbing a street dog... (not the kind on a leash)... visiting City Hall, Harlequin Enterprises, The Woolworth Building... Checking out the little diners, well-hidden. And the sandwich shops, so many of which closed not once, but twice.

Regular folks, like you and me. Just trying to live, pay the bills. This is the first time I've visited where you truly felt hope. I visited a colonial cemetery where the graves were mostly pre-Revolutionary War. Babies. Children. Young women, mostly. And lots of Marys, Sarahs and Elizabeths. I imagined them watching the shore from the grounds of their church, seeing the English ships sail in and out of New York's harbor... Wondering what they thought when the English navy sailed into the area...

9/11 wasn't the first attack on America. It won't be the last. Seeing this  image, a beacon of hope for the world's poor, the entrenched, the huddled masses yearning to be free... with the evidence of jealousy and assault in the background...

How sad to envy when learning is such a better choice.

I pray for peace. I pray for people to join me in prayer, to make God's ears ring with the prayer of earnest, faithful Americans, because we didn't gain this wonderful grace, power and strength on our own. Regardless of religion, God hears the cry of the faithful, the hurting, the joyous, the grateful. I would love to join with you in prayer for our country... Any time, anywhere.


  1. *sniff sniff*

    Beautiful tribute, Ruthy...


  2. Very heart warming, Ruth. You have a true gift of reaching out and touching others with
    words of compassion, hope and love.