Hi 102 Lo 78 for Baghdad, Iraq
Hi 88 Lo 70 for NKY, USA
Happy Sunday Everyone!
My original plan for this weeks ramble was to share ALL our experiences in New York City. First, I must tell you we had a wonderful time. We were only able to do a fraction of what we wanted to do, but more importantly we were able to spend time with family and this was much more important than any itinerary. (This also gives Michael and I an excuse to go back to see and feel and taste and smell (eww) NYC again. Yes, we got to do some wonderful things and I will be more than happy to bore each and every one of you with stories of gangsters, incredible architecture, crazy cabbies, wonderful food, luxurious accommodations, and even rabid attack yorkies with rhinestone barrettes in Bloomingdales if you seem just slightly interested.
Where we stayed - http://www.hilton.com/en/hi/hotels/index.jhtml;jsessionid=HOMEVCDLQKC2YCSGBIX2VCQKIYFCXUUC?ctyhocn=NYCWAHH
Where we ate - http://www.sparkssteakhouse.com/, http://www.carnegiedeli.com/ ,
Possible celebrity sighting - http://www.vonnegut.com/ (this is a correction as we first kept thinking of Ray Bradbury and not Kurt Vonnegut Jr.)
What I want to focus on this morning is remembering and reflecting…. Remembering what happened on a Tuesday morning a few September’s ago. I personally never want to forget what happened. I want to be vigilant and not be afraid and be willing to take a stand and fight for what I know to be right and just.
We went to Battery Park. There we saw the Sphere that stood between the 2 towers.
http://www.dianefarrisgallery.com/artist/lee/ex02/renewnyc.html. Seeing this was completely unexpected and caught me off guard. But it was a reminder that New York City was attacked. It’s easy to walk around this huge city and forget that. See photo 1.
We walked from Trinity Church to Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange. One couldn’t help but notice that no vehicles were permitted and the city had placed huge concrete and steel pylons strategically in front of all the buildings to keep them safe. We also saw these huge steel plates on the ground that worked as blockades at the end of the street. You can sort of see one of them right in front of Trinity Church in the picture below. See photo 2.
We went to Ground Zero. I expected and was prepared to cry as I tend to do, however the sight is simply a gathering point for tourists – which was great because you could literally hear every possible language being spoken. I wouldn’t describe the scene as hushed or reverent. It was just quieter than other place in the city, but it was simply a hole in the ground… a very large hole. Posted on the fence was a minute by minute account of what happened that fateful day. I started to read it, but I soon realized that timeline is burned on my brain… and then I remembered why this place should be held in reverence. See photos 3 & 4.
As we left Ground Zero and crossed the street, we saw a couple of Pakistan sailors in for Fleet Week. Today, Pakistan is an ally… See photo 5.
We all noticed the church they were standing in front of- crossed the street from Ground Zero and saw there was a beautiful cemetery. Michael and I have a fascination with old cemeteries so naturally we had to go in. Before we walked in a local woman told my brother in law and me that it is well worth going in, that it wouldn’t take long but it is a great reminder of what happened on September 11. As we walked in, I was immediately overwhelmed by what I saw. This sanctuary had become a memorial to those who died and a tribute to those that volunteered tirelessly to try and find survivors. The fence outside St. Paul’s Chapel looked familiar to me – it was the fence that we all had seen countless times on the news – pictures of missing people… teddy bears, flowers, this church was home for the Holy Spirit for this broken city. God made this a place of sanctuary a place to begin healing. I couldn’t walk through it. I stopped and went to a pew and cried and prayed. See photo 6.
Go to the website – This church has an amazing history. George Washington attended church here when the nation’s capitol was NYC. Be sure to go to the time line and click on the video for 9/12/01. There is a lot to digest on this website. I urge you to spend time. It is a great reminder of what happened that awful day and to remember that they aren’t “insurgents” but rather terrorists… See photos 7 thru 14.
Never forget. When we returned to Cincinnati, I was asking everyone what was their favorite part of the trip. My niece said that she could have done without the Ground Zero stuff. She is a very sensitive girl and feels very deeply, so the emotion of revisiting those memories was difficult for her. I told her that it was important to remember- that we should never forget. But I didn’t tell her why… So, I’ll make a feeble attempt to explain why--- We are supposed to live our lives, to find purpose and to enjoy all the things that God has given us and to be thankful. We are also to fight evil in the way that has been asked of us. We are to remind and let others know that all things are possible through Christ. So, Aimee, although it was difficult to remember what happened on that day, it reminds me of all the things that matter. Family matters. You matter and I love you very much. See photo 15.
I have finally created my own blog so this will be the last installment of this weekly email. My goal is to continue with the same theme and post to the blog on Sunday mornings. I’ll attempt to post this email as my first installment. This will give you a chance to post comments and I hope you do.
Photo 16 Never Forget
Photo 14. Artist Jessica Stammen used steel from the collapsed World Trade Center as the base for this 14-pound chalice. She cast a bronze sculpture of a tree trunk to evoke the tree in St. Paul's churchyard that was struck down in the attacks. Two beams extend from the tree trunk to represent the Twin Towers, and the hands of God cup the top of the chalice. She said, "These trunks are cupped by the hands of God to symbolize the grace and spirit that the Lord is pouring out on people. As a container for the blood of Christ, [the chalice represents] our hope in re-creation, transformation, and rebuilding."
Photo 6. St. Paul's Chapel
Photo 5. Pakistan Sailors in front of St. Paul's Chapel
Photo 4. Ground Zero
Photo 3. Ground Zero
Photo 2. Trinity Church from Wall Stree
Photo 1. Sphere Memorial
George Washington watching over the New York Stock Exchange
Manhattan as seen from the Empire State Building
The view from the Empire State Building was breathtaking. I have to fill you in on a little secret though -- getting up to the observation deck isn't as simple as in An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle... It took nearly an hour to get to the top, 2 security checks, not so nice people, and several different lines all at $14.00 a head... Was it worth it? Next time we'll go at dusk.
Statue of Liberty as seen from Battery Park
street festival New York City