Monday, September 10, 2012

Rising From the Ashes

I've always had a different perspective of September 11th.  I tried to explain what that day means to me in a blog written 2 years ago The Day the World Kept Turning.  You see, September 11th is my Mom's birthday.  For several years these two occasions have left me with mixed feelings.  I have a sense of devastation and celebration.  It's very confusing to feel and explain.

I don't know when Hubby and I decided that we should go to New York for our spring vacation.  I don't think I always wanted to go, but it seems like I've wanted to travel there for what seems like five years.....maybe more.  I even tried to convince Hubby that we should go at Christmas time so we could visit Times Square and see the ball drop.  Instead, we found a great deal on Expedia shortly after Christmas this year and visited New York for 10 days over Easter.

New York is an amazing and incredible city.  We stayed in Queens just a short jaunt from the subway.  We decided to do all our travelling via subway or the foot-mobile.  It was the only way to truly experience the city.  I'd see people from all walks of life.  Everyone was eager to help giving directions.  I never felt like my safety was in question.  

The new World Trade Center construction.
Whenever we took a tour, the guide was sure to point out where the Twin Towers stood.  The gap in the skyline is obvious.  One tour guide said that no one should ever call it Ground Zero again.  He said that Ground Zero refers to a place of chaos and devastation.  When you look at the World Trade Center site now, there is rebirth.  The 9/11 Memorial is open and the new buildings are taking shape.  It is now a place of remembrance and hope.

On our final day of our trip we went to the 9/11 Memorial.  Visitors must book a time online ahead of time.  Then you go to the Visitor Center and claim your ticket.  You have a certain window of time to be there.  We were ahead of time so we visited St. Paul's Chapel where the firemen, policemen, and other responders took refuge in the days after the collapse.  


WTC 2 Reflecting Pool
There is an immense amount of security at most New York land marks.  At the 9/11 Memorial there is airport like security, but once cleared, the Memorial is breathtaking.  In each acre footprint there are reflection pools.  Around each pool, engraved in bronze, are the names of the victims.  It's very tactile.  You can touch each name.  Some of them look familiar from seeing them on documentaries.  What is most striking is the life the site is bringing to the city of New York.  The trees are growing, children are there laughing and just beyond the memorial the new World Trade Center building is taking shape.

I look forward to a time when the security restrictions are lifted and one can walk down the street and stop to gaze into the memorial pools.  I look forward to a day when I no longer dread that my Mom has to share this day with something so tragic.  Everyone deserves to move forward because the City of New York has found that courage for us and has risen from the ashes.

Postcards - The Staten Island 9/11 Memorial

14 comments:

  1. That was so well said Sandra.

    (Happy Birthday to your mom tomorrow too!)

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    1. Thanks. I just needed to get out that on the anniversary we tend to watch all these things about what happened on that day....but we've forgotten about what has happened since.

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  2. Awesome post Sandra, hope your mum has a lovely day today.

    Moving forward is the only thing to do if you want to live in these crazy times.

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    1. Moving forward but never forgetting what shaped us.

      Standing there by those pools...it's so hard to fathom what happened there.

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  3. Well said. It must be incredibly hard for relatives/friends of the victims but I like to think the victims would not want us to remain in the past. We have to move forward to show those responsible for this atrocity that we will not give in to such senseless acts of violence.

    Hope your mum has a nice birthday.

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    1. That is exactly correct. We won't give in.

      I forgot that I have a picture of some art that is on the street near the Memorial. It says "Never Forget". I meant to post it and forgot. I have so many pictures to choose from! Even though we shouldn't forget it....life goes on....just like D-day or any other significant anniversary.

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  4. What a lovely blog :) (You brought a tear to my eye -- in a good way :)

    Happy early birthday, Sandra's mom!

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    1. I feel like there's more I wanted to say. It is a wonderful place. It's not just about this happening.

      Next time, I'm bringing cannoli home in my suitcase.

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  5. You have said a great deal in just a few words. Well said and deeply felt. Ty, Sandra.

    ...and Happy Birthday to your Mother.

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    1. I really honestly loved it in NYC. I feel like if I was 20 years younger, single .and more naive, I'd move there! Love love loved it.

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  6. What a great post (as usual). Best wishes for your mom's bday.

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    1. Thanks! I don't get to see my mom. I'm sure Dad will treat her for supper and my brother will be there with presents. She knows I love her. I am sure to always tell her how I feel. I believe in treating those we love well all the time.

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  7. A wonderful blog. *smile*

    Happy birthday to your mum.

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    1. Thanks! I loved it there. I want to go again.

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