Monday evening: 23Sept13...........sobering, to the max.
Mid-day today I had the deep delight of doing lunch with a man who was in the very first youth group I led in Costa Mesa, CA way, way back in the mid-60s. We have not had contact for decades. He is now the President of a small liberal arts college in mid-town Manhattan, NYC. That Jud Shaver has accomplished all that he has, 'tis mightly good. What a journey he has had to this moment in time. It was extra good to do lunch with him. What a treat...........!
Mid-afternoon, into early evening, the day took on a somber note. With our nephew, who has lived in NYC for 30+ years now, I visited the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial. If possible, this is something everyone needs to do at least once. Hundreds of people were quietly visiting the site of those Twin Towers.
The site is massive. You can barely see the visitors on the other side of where the south tower once stood in this picture.
Where the north and south towers stood, there are two reverse fountains/waterfalls where water cascades down the footprint and into a hole, the bottom of which cannot be seen. Artfully impressive. These are huge holes, as are the holes in the hearts of all those who lost loved ones during this fate-filled day.
All around the sides are the names of those who died in each tower, and those who died in the plane crashes at the Pentagon and in PA, and the few who died in 1993 when terrorists first tried to blow up the place. I even found the name of the wife of a friend who had boarded the plane in Boston that hit the north tower.
Rising above the rubble is a new Freedom Tower. In design it is stellar, a massive monument rising 104 floors above the memorial. Though it is topped out, it will be months yet before it is finished and occupied. Hard to imagine what it must be like to look from the top of this new building into the depths of the memorial.
Our nephew and I took a slow walk around the south end of Manhattan, and one more time he reflected on how he had spent that fateful day. He was on his way to work when he looked up and saw the first plane hit the tower. He has lived in that neighborhood for 20+ years, and still does, even with the memories of that day.
I've caught the drift today that there are a lot of world leaders in town right now. My friend, Jud, is even having dinner with a soverign head of a country tonight. I wonder what they are thinking as they, too, observe the skyline? Even with their significant responsibilities as leaders, their humanity is the same as the rest of us. May they be reminded to lead with deep wisdom and creative grace.
What is taking place here in the reclaiming of this space dominates the skyline on the south end of the island. We spent time just sitting in the quiet beauty of Battery Park thinking through that day, and life. It was a special moment I will remember as long as I can remember. This was important to experience.
Where were you on "that" day?
In what ways has what took place impacted you?