The National September 11 Memorial

Our national 9/11 Memorial & Museum is dedicated to those who lost their lives in surprise attack on our country by Islamic terrorists.  There are two pools of water with 30 foot waterfalls which mark approximately the sites of the Twin Towers which collapsed in the attack.

It commemorates the attacks in New York City and Washington, D.C., that occurred on September 11, 2001 which killed 2977  including more than 400 first responders who died in the line of duty. Surrounding each pool are bronze panels with the names of the victims who died in the attack.

The effect of the waterfalls in terms of sound to me somewhat recreates the roaring sound of the collapsing buildings.  Then, they came down in a storm of dust, ashes and falling debris.  Now, there is something peaceful in the falling water.  Images of those collapsing towers are seared into my memory.  The water falls and then flows into a square hole at the center bottom of the pools which for me is reminiscent of those lives which disappeared in the collapsing buildings.

Now, roses are placed in the carved names of the victims on their birthdays.  I found being their emotionally difficult, choking up several times.  If someone had asked me, “Did you know any of the victims?”  I would have responded, “I knew them all.  For they are you and I.”   Those Muslim terrorists who planned and carried out the attack were willing to kill any of us.  People from 90 different nations died in the attack which gives us an idea of the intent of those inspired by Islamic terrorism: they are willing to murder us all.

One might say however that arising from the ashes is a peace and a beauty.  A new World Trade Center is being built.   But the memorial’s water theme would say, it is not from the ashes which were a purging fire that something new arises.  The ashes were made sacred by those incinerated in the inferno.  The water cleanses, and something new, not fueled by the fires of hatred must arise.  We must be purified and find peace or we will become like the inflamed terrorists bent on destruction and murder.  We must build upon our ideals and the good we have to offer to the world and not be consumed by the destructive forces which are at the root of terrorism, Islamic or otherwise.

There are many lessons our young people have to learn from the events of September 11, 2001.  How to build a better world despite the evil which compels people to hate and which destroys lives.  We need to remember what hatred, whether blind or inspired by ideology, leads to.  Unfortunately, in this world it requires force to repel and contain that evil force which infests the hearts and minds of folks bent on evil.  But the use of force, can also disfigure our own hearts and minds causing us to think force and might are always right.  Or causing us to believe that our use of force can never be wrongly used or applied.  We must not become what the terrorist is.  We must remain human: all are created in the image and likeness of God.

In rebuilding our lives and nation, we must not change our hearts into stone.  It is the heart of flesh, which feels the searing pain of tragedy, which can change the world, one human at a time.  It is compassion that we will build a better society and world.  Hatred destroys and cannot build up.

One World Trade Center

What we do reflects what is in our hearts.

You can find the complete set of my photos of this memorial at  9/11 Memorial Photos.

You will find links to my other Photoblogs at My Photoblogs.   One other NYC photoblog which I posted is NYC Never Sleeps but Enjoys Places of Quiet.

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3 Responses to The National September 11 Memorial

  1. Pingback: My Photo-blogs | Fr. Ted's Blog

  2. Pingback: NYC: Never Sleeps but Enjoys Places of Silence | Fr. Ted's Blog

  3. Pingback: What If 9/11 Never Happened? | Stories in 5 Minutes

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