Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Memories, falling like rain

Yesterday, today and tomorrow I am in the Big Apple, spending time with my eldest son, Nathan. It's the last time we will have some father and son time together before he gets married late this summer, so these are special days indeed. And on this blustery spring day, we decided to make a memorial pilgrimage, taking the 1 train down to Chambers Street.

We decided to make pilgrimage to Ground Zero.

The World Trade Center plaza is hardly a quiet place at present; the antiphons of industry are echoing up and around, fed by cranes and cement trucks and hoisting apparatus. But even this creative chaos was inspiring — in the midst of this small plot of land that gave witness to so much horror, creation itself, and not destruction, continues to have the last word.
If you're reading this, then you know of one remarkable thing we all shared about the morning of September 11th, 2001. Not only do we remember when and how we heard of the attack. We also remember the seconds, minutes, and hours that followed. Strange details still remain in my mind — the incredulous, vacant look on the face of our administrative assistant when she told me of a rumored plane flying into the World Trade Center; where I was standing in the lobby of the Campus Ministry Center when I witnessed the collapse of the South Tower; the eerie clarity of the September sky that afternoon, when the whole University celebrated mass on the South Quad. Every one of these moments is etched in my memory.

None of these remarks are different than any of your own observations, more than likely. But what has made me take pause today is our simple yet utterly fundamental need to remember — to look back, to survey our common ground, and walk it again.

Three thousand names surround this cascading pool, and each one carries with them years of memories, accomplishments, joys and failures. Today, I stepped over the security threshold and into this waiting solemnity.
The purveyors of pop culture will tell you that, while you're in the Big Apple, you'd do well to surround yourself with the non-stop activities of Gotham. But my heart tells me not so; sometimes it is best to stand quietly, and take in the memories, memories that fall like rain, memories that cleanse us back to profound consciousness.

Location:W 87th St,,United States

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