Thursday, June 21st, 2012
|New York skyline. The two towers on the left with the dark tops are the new|
twin towers that are in the process of being constructed.
Today our goal was seeing New York. We were daunted by the almost-100-degree weather. We figured out that parking costs and toll bridges were about the same cost as paying for the three of us to take public transportation from New Jersey to New York City, andecided that it would be easier on me physically if I could ride in the car. But then we ended up spending most of the day turned around or stuck in traffic. We passed through even Harlem (and didn’t see another Caucasian for several blocks).
We finally made it to Central Park but by then it was mid-day and we hadn’t eaten yet but we were on the wrong side of the park and I can’t walk far, especially in the heat and an empty stomach. It was 4:00 before we finally found food and then got on the subway to the 9/11 Memorial.
|The middle of the floor is covered|
with some kind of prayer path.
My favorite was St. Paul’s church where the firemen and rescue workers went to rest between shifts. It’s now a memorial, though it’s used at least a little for services, as well.
There was a huge tree by the church that was hit by debris. It fell over but somehow missed hitting the church and the up-rooted roots did not disturb any graves. It became a symbol of God’s hand of protection in the midst of the chaos.
The roots on the statue to the left were inspired by that tree and the two trunks represent the towers. This was part of the inscription: "these trunks are cupped by the hands of God to symbolize the grace and spirit that the Lord is pouring out on people."
This colorful memorial on the right is made up of patches off everything from firemen outfits to boy scouts badges. Anyone who visits is able to leave one in honor of the volunteers, and I believe ones were sent from all over the country.
The cross on the left was created from pieces of metal in the ruins, and the backdrop is pictures of people who came to help and pray in the aftermath.
|This flag was created out of all the|
names of those who died.
|Banners were hung all round the church that had been sent|
from states and groups around the country.
The official 9/11 Memorial didn’t have quite as much there as I thought it would. They are still doing construction all around it, so only one entrance was open and we had to stand in a long line and go through security, though we bypassed one area that could have been filled with hundreds more people in line if it had been busier. I had trouble standing just in our shorter line, so I was thankful it wasn't longer.
The memorial itself was two pools. The big craters the towers left were filled with a waterfall and then surrounded by a stone wall that is carved with names of those who died.
It was powerful to stand there on Ground Zero and see the huge holes and all the buildings towering around, including the two new towers that are being constructed. There were also a couple of places where they left some of the actual remnants of buildings and just covered them with a glass structure. The emotions from seeing the collapse live so many years ago and all the ensuing footage flooded back. Even as I looked around and knew it had been choking dust and suffering and panic, I tried not to dwell too deeply on things, for fear it would be too overwhelming, but did say a few prayers.
Check back on Tuesday for more New York pictures and the funniest story yet!