Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 11th, Twelve Years Later

It's hazy in Lower Manhattan today as I take this picture, at 8:46 am, when American Airlines flight 11 crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Twelve years ago.

Drew and I look at the new One World Trade Center ("Freedom Tower") from our windows, reminded every day of what used to stand in its place.

This is our third September 11th to live in Manhattan.  On the 10th anniversary, there was pomp with presidents and a public outpouring of remembrance and shared grief.  I posted a blog that day titled "Remember to Love," tied a white ribbon on the fence around St. Paul's Chapel and walked its labyrinth in silence. Today, the ceremony at Ground Zero is described as a time for quiet reflection, focusing on the families.  The victims will speak to us, once again, as their names are read by the loved ones they left.

Those of us who live "in the neighborhood" walk by the site often. . . Drew every morning on his way to work.  We watch the progress as the new tower inches up towards completion. But it's not until I go into the Memorial that I feel the loss.

Of the many pictures I've taken of the area, there is one that overwhelms me with the humanness of that day, beyond the buildings, beyond the planes, beyond the madness I can never understand.

A wall of pictures, a blur of faces, all dead.  

My friends Polly and Mary, gazed into the faces at the 9/11 Tribute Center, when they visited in April 2012.  We looked at each other, shook our heads, and reached for the box of tissues on a bench nearby.  We had no words to express the sadness.  Who does?

As the haze gradually lifts, I go on with my day.  I say a prayer for those families gathered close by, who, so bravely, go on with their lives.

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