"Remember, I am with you always to the end of the age" (Mt 28:20)

9/11 Terrorist Attacks After Twenty Years: “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning”

One World Trade Center, Lower Manhattan New York City, USA

T
oday may we take a minute of silence as we remember that fateful September morning twenty years ago on September 11, 2001 when the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in Lower Manhattan New York City saw the last sunrise. Back in 2016 I went to the so called Ground Zero to remember in prayer and to pay my respects to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks—some 2,996 men, women and children including 19 al-Qaeda terrorists—that occurred in three areas, viz. WTC at the Financial District of Lower Manhattan New York City, Pentagon—the headquarters of the American military—Arlington County Virginia and Pennsylvania countryside outside Shanksville, PA. A series of airline hijackings and suicide attacks was executed by militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda. It resulted into the earth-shaking and deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in US history. There is a quote emblazoned on a mural mosaic at the Memorial Hall, which sits between the two main exhibitions of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. It is from the ancient Roman poet Virgil and it says, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” Each letter on the mural was forged by artist Tom Joyce from steel that was recovered from the World Trade Center. I took a picture of the blue horizon as I gazed through the window on the 100th floor of the rebuilt World Trade Center aka the One World Trade Center. It is reminiscent of the final morning view on earth that was etched in the memory of those who perished. Spencer Finch, the artist of the mosaic, made use of 2,983 hand-painted, watercolor squares—each its own shade of blue which represents each of the life that had been lost. Finch entitled his mosaic work as “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning.” When interviewed about the artwork by The New York Times, he said, “It had to be about that human quality of remembering, how it’s so fuzzy in some ways, and in other ways it’s so completely clear.” In the words of Pope Francis he said during his State Visit back in September 25, 2015, "This place of death became a place of life, too... A place of saved lives, a hymn to the triumph of life over the prophets of destruction and death, to goodness over evil, to reconciliation and unity over hatred and division." The Holy Father said that the site stands as a "heroic example" of strength, generosity and service by citing firefighters who rushed into the burning towers with no concern for their own well-being (Source: Translation provided by the Vatican).

Sunset at the One World Trade Center

The "Footprints" of the former Twin Towers of the Financial District 

Pope Francis prays for the victims at Ground Zero during his US State Visit September 2015

T
he very heart of the Memorial are two pools that represent the chambers and valves of the human heart. Each spans nearly an acre in size, that sit in the footprints of the former North and South Towers—the largest manmade pools in North America. Water continuously fall from a height of 30 feet into an inner square basin. From there, the water in each pool drops another 20 feet and disappears into a smaller, central void. According to the architect, Michael Arad, the pools represent “absence made visible.” Fr JM Manzano SJ

Recommended Read: "How Sept. 11 inadvertently paved the way for the future election of Pope Francis" by Christopher White

Ground Zero South Pool

Me and Fr Vic Salanga SJ

Comments

  1. I wish I can visit the place and offer prayers too. I am wondering how it feels to be there. I can remember that time the feeling of shock and fear when I saw it in the news... I will offer prayers of peace and healing today. Thanks for sharing. GBU!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi thank you for your sharing and for your prayers... especially for something like this not to happen again to anybody. GBU...

      Delete
    2. An inspiration came as I look again...Beautifully captured sunset...looking back at memories...with footprints...absence made visible...with prayers and hopeful looking forward for a new dawn painted by the joyful smiles of young and old companeros...Beautiful sights arranged accordingly to commemorate this day. Thanks once again. Have prayed much...

      Delete
    3. Thanks so much for your perfect "mirroring" of the simple collage of today's memorial... what a good way to end... thank you for sharing to me your bird's eye view... amazing what prayerful contemplation could do to us... priceless!

      Delete
  2. Thank you for sharing fr. Jom... I can still remember the time when it happened. We were in the office (when I was still working) and everyone were shocked for we did not expect it to happen. I offer a special prayer intention for all the victims of 9/11 tragedy.. 🙏🙏🙏

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you most especially for your prayers for our bereaved brothers and sisters. Indeed the whole earth was shaken by the tragedy. But from the ashes sprang forth life again... a testament to God's unending love and mercy. GBU!

      Delete

Post a Comment

Thank you for your interest in the above post. When you make a comment, I would personally read it first before it gets published with my response.