Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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No new words

On a day like today, September 11, 2021, on the 20th anniversary of the attacks on our country that killed so many innocents, you want to have something profound to say. Something that touches your readers, helps them process their own memories. Makes someone think. Provides hope.

But I find that I have no new words, and while in search of something to say I remembered my last visit to New York City when we visited the Freedom Tower.

So I invite you to click on this link which will take you back to a post written in 2016. My feelings about this place are still the same.

If you ever have the chance to visit NYC, please make time to spend at least a half day at the Freedom Tower. As our guide said back then, visiting is a sign of respect.

And couldn’t we all try a little harder to spread some respect these days.


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Paying our respects at the Freedom Tower

Pools and names.

Pools and names.


There are no words adequate to describe the sheer size while looking up at the tower gleaming against the bright blue sky. No words to describe the deep emotion running through a crowd that stands mostly silent around the perimeter of the two pools ringed with names of the nearly three thousand that died.

Reflecting somber thoughts.

Reflecting somber thoughts.

No words.

Each day memorial staff place white roses in the names of those victims who would have been celebrating birthdays. Their lives are remembered by their families still and now complete strangers linger to gently touch the letters of the names cut into the smooth stone. Showing respect. Honoring.

Imported Photos 00562

Inside the museum our tour guide provides detailed history. She is careful of our feelings, telling us it’s a difficult story to hear, to have experienced, to remember.

Fire truck.  Cab is destroyed.  All died.

Fire truck. Cab is destroyed. All died.

She reminds us that there are those among us that were not yet alive on that day and that it is important to tell the story. To not forget. To pass the lessons on.

Part of the antenna from atop one of the towers.

Part of the antenna from atop one of the towers.

In the great hall there stands the last piece of formative steel to be removed from the site. Taped to it are pictures of some of those that died, put there by the construction crews and city employees working on the cleanup. A makeshift memorial captured and preserved forever.

Back wall is the original footings of the tower.  Last formative steel removed covered in heartfelt graffiti.

Back wall is the original footings of the tower. Last formative steel removed covered in heartfelt graffiti.

A long wall is covered in tiles, each of the 2,996 a different shade of blue, no two alike, because each of the 2,996 victims was unique. Blue, because the sky on September 11, 2001 was the wonderful clear blue of a perfect autumn day.

"No day shall erase you from the memory

“No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” -Virgil

There are things inside the museum that are hard to see but important to remember. There is a room with photos of each of the victims. Photos lined up, from floor to ceiling, row after row of faces smiling, eyes looking back, stories to be told, memories captured.

Hard.

But our guide reminds us that this memorial wasn’t built with hate. It was built with love. And that coming to visit is an act of love and respect and honor.

Old and new  can exist together in harmony.

Old and new can exist together in harmony.

So we swallow our tears and we promise to pass the story on to the next generation in hope and peace.

Wings of hope.

Wings of hope.

And then we move out of the museum and back onto the streets of New York City under a brilliant blue sky.

Never forget.

Never forget.