Our first stop during our visit to New York City last week was to Ground Zero and the recently opened 9/11 Memorial. The memorial is located on the grounds of the World Trade Center twin towers that were destroyed when terrorists crashed two planes into the buildings on September 11, 2001. The memorial consists of two pools located in the footprints of the original towers. The names of the victims of 9/11 along with those who died in a previous terrorist plot in 1993 are inscribed in stone and are located at the perimeters of each of these pools.
It was a moving experience to visit this memorial. As we looked at the names and observed the water falling into the 30 foot deep pools, we noticed a family who had just found the name of a loved one on the perimeter stones. See this family shed a few tears as they rubbed their fingers against the engraved name brought a reality to our visit that I hadn’t expected. I didn’t know anyone who was killed on September 11th, but I remember the surreal feeling of watching the normally busy skies around Allentown, PA suddenly become quiet. I remember catching news reports as I went to lunch with some fellow construction workers and as I drove home that day. It hardly seemed possible.
Seeing the site of the World Trade Center Towers reminded me of these events, but it also brought some positive thoughts and feelings as well. As we prepared to leave the memorial and head up to Midtown, I had a feeling of hope as we walked by the construction sites of many new buildings that are going up around the 9/11 Memorial. I was reminded that good can come out of such tragedy. And I was inspired by the challenge to re-discover unity.
Where have you been that has stirred a variety of emotional responses? What was your response?