A picture speaks 1,000 words and a word can inspire 1,000 pictures.
Today I found myself stopped at a red light at the foot of the Freedom Tower. I was caught in the busyness of my day; thinking of the details of the meeting I had just left and planning my strategic navigation back to my home office through construction choked downtown Manhattan.
I looked to the left on the corner of Liberty and West and from that angle the tower soared over my head, reflecting that perfect blue sky on this glorious day.
I could not help but think that this sky was identical to the one the day the towers fell.
It was a Moment, with a capital M.
Never be too busy to stand in awe. Of the horror. Of the resilience. Of the sheer magnitude of both DEstruction and CONstruction.
And let those moments change you, for if they don’t, what is the point of having them.
We are all here. Some will reflect, others will try to ‘move on’. But we are all here, whether we like it or not. We sit 10 years out from the day that changed EVERYTHING. I try to remember what pre-9/11 felt like and I can only think of how my kids have no reference point. They were too young when it happened to have memories of air travel without taking off their shoes or worrying about liquids in tiny bottles. They have no idea what it was like to live in a world that did not have colored levels of terrorist warnings.
This is their norm. And there is nothing about post 9/11 life that saddens me more.
I keep remembering a class trip being cancelled some time shortly after 9/11 because we were in orange and schools in our area would not cross bridges or tunnels in orange. My son asked me what color level they cancelled class trips for when I was his age. It was hard to explain to him that there were no terror threats when I was young. He simply did not understand this.
It was not his norm.
The photo above was taken by Susan. She usually sends me funny things that she sees. This time she sent me something that moved her. As she said, finally a red cup put to good use. (for those without teenagers, the proverbial red cup is synonymous with teen drinking).
In case you can not read the copy in the photograph I am inserting it here. This is a fabulous interactive piece of art that allows everyone who sees it to take part in its power. If you are in the neighborhood I encourage you to go out of your way to participate in this.
“In observance of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, illegal art has marked each of the 110 floors on the sidewalk with chalk, starting at 5th Avenue and 14th street and heading north for 1, 368 feet (417 meters), the height of the taller of the two towers.
Passersby, like yourself, are encouraged to walk the height of the once standing buildings along 5th Avenue and write any words that express your feeling or experience related to 9/11.
May the threats be idle and may you all heal but never forget the power of hate and the subsequent power of humanity that followed.
This year instead of looking back on the horror that was, let’s look forward to the thriving neighborhood that will be. Don’t read that wrong. I am a firm believer in never forgetting. This is a solemn day that deserves respect and reverence. But I believe there is always a place for hope.
In case you missed this NYT article, here are the plans for what will be a completely new piece of New York. One that will both remember what we have lost and give hope for what we will gain.
In this time of insanity surrounding the protest of the building of religious institutions and the burning of sacred texts, is it not time for us to be the America we have worked so desperately to defend and preserve?
Please feel free to remember anyone you have lost or hope you may have for the future, but do not feel free to preach hatred in these comments.
Scenario: Driving to New Jersey with friends to see a concert.
Location: Grand Central Parkway Westbound
Incident: tons of traffic on the Eastbound side, lots of smoke and then we see an SUV smoking and starting to flame on the shoulder.
Husband 1: Wow, looks like that just happened.
Me: We should call 911.
Husband 1: Nah, somebody else will call.
Husband 2: Ah, forget it, that guy is already toast. Looks like it’s gonna blow.
Other wife: (while dialing 911) Are you guys kidding me?!
Scary part is that the 911 operator was so dimwitted there is a good chance that car had blown before she could understand what between exits 5 and 6 meant, had to take my friend’s cell number (more than once) and then asked if she wanted to be connected to the Fire Dept. By then we were already over the Triboro bridge.
So, here is another poll. Are you the someone else will call guy, the he’s already a goner guy or the 911 chick?