The anniversary of 9/11 has affected me quite deeply this week. Added to the deluge of news about hurricane Katrina and it's victims...it has all cumulatively taken a huge toll on my spirit.
This Sunday, myself and millions of other Americans watched with somber awe the 4th anniversary memorial of the Sept 11 attack on the twin towers. I watched and listened to the recitation of the names of each and every person who perished in the NYC attack of 2001.
This staggering en masse memoriam was carried out by friends and family members of the respective 2,112 victims who who died that day.
In small groups of two to six, they stood at the podium reciting the name of their lost loved one and who they were to them ie--beloved husband, wife, Mother, father, sister, brother, daughter friend. Some could only manage to state their lost ones name, others read aloud a meaningful prayer or poem or verse, words arranged artfully to capture the essence of their loss.
The words I miss you " were heard over and over and over again, but they
never seemed hollow or repetitive for with each time they were spoken the pain of that persons individual loss could be felt distinctly each one bound to the next, yet separated too by the uniqueness of their pain and loss. It was poignant powerful and most of all, very sad.
The enormity of the pain and loss on this one day through this one hateful action,
was utterly overwhelming .
Seeing the grief and pain still so fresh on the faces and in the voices of the surviving family or friends, brought it all right back as if it had just happened yesterday. And that's when it hit me, It is never going to be truly over . Certainly not for the families of the victims, nor the survivors, nor the thousands like me geographically near enough to feel swept up by the threat of the attack.
Although I did not personally lose any family or close friends to 9/11, the tragedy was close to home nonetheless. A Connecticut resident of many years, I was born in New york City, and despite my families relocation to the Connecticut suburbs midway through my childhood, I've always considered myself a New Yorker at heart.
My fondest childhood memories took place in locales like Rockefeller Center and Yankee stadium-- to name but a few. Even the grubby New York City taxicabs with their infamously grouchy drivers, have a place in my heart for I can vividly recall my father and his impressively loud whistle which he reserved for hailing down yellow cabs for his troupe of girls en route to one of our weekend outings.
Needless to say New York City was-and still- is-a very special place for me,
It is it's diversity that defines the city and lends it so much of it's uniqueness.
A veritable melting pot of culture, religion, and food-- you name it, New York's got it,
And for the most part,everyone lives together harmoniously, despite, and indeed some say because of those differences.
Ironically, it was the very antithesis of this kind of tolerance that brought to bear such violence and terror upon her innocent citizens.