Thursday, September 25, 2008

New York City: Ground Zero

We visited Ground Zero when we went to NYC. We were there Sept. 12-14, so it seemed a fitting thing to do.

It's difficult to get there. The subway line still marked "World Trade Center" doesn't go that far anymore, but there's no one to explain that. After a few subway mishaps and loads of walking through an unseasonably hot, sticky afternoon, we arrived.

A block away from the site idiot protesters were loudly, obnoxiously demanding the Truth about 9/11. They had decided that Bush orchestrated the whole thing. Somehow their shouts seemed incongruous near a place of mourning, and disrespectful to the fire fighters who fell that day. Thankfully, no protesters or vendors are allowed at the site.

Not much construction has been done yet. Ground Zero looked like a scar to me, an absence. Although that somehow felt appropriate to me, G. felt miffed that the construction had gotten nowhere in the course of seven years.

Note the people in the foreground, living life like nothing huge ever happened here. I guess that's how it has to be, especially if you're going to live or work in NYC. It has been, after all, seven years, even if I just visited the site for the first time. I didn't notice this pair until I saw the photo on my computer.

What you can't see in this photograph is all the other pilgrims around me, behind me, like me climbing the stairs across from the site to get a better look, trying to make some sense of the horror of that ripped through that fine September morning. You can't see the little children running around, playing, oblivious to their stricken parents.

Here's the firehouse right next to the site. I mean, right next to it. They lost a lot of men that day.

The wall beside the fire station serves as a memorial for their fallen. There were so many people in the small alley, looking, remembering, that I did not get a front view.

Down by the fire station, one side of the WTC site is left open for viewing, no tarps over the fence. There was a crowd peering through the fence on this Saturday afternoon seven years later.

Plans for the future WTC are here. They were posted near the site, a little beacon of hope. I think they're beautiful.

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