Two weeks ago around this time Zsolt and I were in New York visiting the September 11th memorial site. It’s an open-space with construction happening all around and tourists & New Yorkers dispersed between the two fountains where the towers once stood. It’s surreal in a way; I remember my first year of university and getting ready to go to class when I heard something on the radio about a plane crashing into a building in New York City. It didn’t sound right, it had to be a bad joke. I left the house. Rode the bus. Went to class. Sat in class. Found out it was real. Came home. Watched what happened over and over in replay.
Horrible. It’s hard to be reminded that life serves tragedies just as equally as it serves miracles.
The fountains that pour down in the memorial park evoke sadness. There’s such a sense of sadness. With the names of those who died rimming the fountain, the water slides away and tumbles downwards into the black pool, then again it falls into the ground, out of sight. It’s about falling . . . falling and remembering, falling and weeping . . . it’s about the lives that were pulled down into we-don’t-know-where. I’ve never seen a memorial that was so effective in evoking a remembrance of loss. Yet at the same time it’s beautiful to watch the water fall, to feel the spray lifted by the wind, to trace your fingers over the names.
I’m sorry for what happened on September 11th. I’m sorry for the people in Syria who are getting massacred. I’m sorry for people who are torn from their families. I’m sorry for people who get sick before they’re ready. I’m really just sorry for all of these hardships that can make life seem unbearable.
And I’m thankful for the compassion people can show to one another; thankful for their courage to be resilient against a tyrant; thankful for the bonds we form with total strangers; thankful for a smile given on the street; thankful for the moment that is peaceful, even if the world feels like it’s crumbling.
Anyhow. I meant to write about what’s been going on since we’ve gotten back from Europe . . . but then I look at the calendar and it’s September 11th, and this is a day that cannot be forgotten. I’m sure there are many days that cannot be forgotten for many people – both tragedies and miracles alike.
Today I’m thinking about those who know what it is to be helpless, and I’m hoping for as many as possible, they can find some peace despite the chaos.
3 thoughts on “The tragedy and the miracle”
My strongest memory of September 11, 2001 was sitting next to a father and daughter team who had just flown into Canada that morning to visit our office. Their office was in one of the towers. As many of us watched the events unfold on TV in shocked silence, the daughter with concern on her face whispered to her father, “Our visit here this morning has saved our lives.” I could feel and hear in her voice that she felt their last-minute visit to our office was a miracle. I could also see the concern on the father’s and daughter’s faces for their staff – how they were trying to stoically hold back their tears and hope that their staff made it out unharmed.
I had inadvertently shared a personal moment with two people who were directly affected by the tragedy and I always think of them every September 11.
Thank you for the tribute to all those fallen in the 9-11 tragedy. I do look forward to reading about your trip to Europe, but believe you were incredibly respectful to remember this day beyond all else. xox
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