Returning to Ground Zero 1

One of the two memorial pools at the 9/11 park in New York City.

Jamey Walston

Eight years ago in New York City I walked by a construction site. It was surrounded by fencing and black plastic, but through gaps I could see a hole. A massive hole. In 2001 it was one of the Twin Towers. People hurried by on the street somberly and I blended back into the crowd. 

On August 21st, I revisited the site. Walking through the small park, I stopped when I got to one of the memorial pools. Engraved with the names of those who died, the water rushed from under the border and cascaded over the edge into the deep, black basin like tears. Here in this park surrounded by trees and park benches, this spot still weeps for those lost to hatred and terror. The engraved border is wide and cold to the touch. Everyone places their hands on the stone and traces the names with their fingertips. Christopher, Mary Lou, Frank… A white rose is placed on a special engraving for Engine 65. 

I look up to the One World Trade Center. When I stand beside it, I can’t even see the top. The tower is sleek, noble, and fierce. From the depths of the pool to the top of the Tower, the whole site seems to project this sense of bold resistance to terror. Standing here I feel the strength of this city and of our nation. As the anniversary of 9/11 approaches, I am glad to have visited the site where, though many lives were lost, terror did not win.

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