Back home we can take a mile walk or run from home down to the OKC Memorial where the reflecting pool, the Survivor Tree, and the garden of chairs honoring lives lost are met by hundreds upon hundreds of passers by every day. Memoriabilia still hangs from a fence and both tourists and locals come to pause,
The atmosphere is mostly calm…
and except for observers pointing and talking with each other about what they are seeing, it’s mostly quiet.
This is the only way I know a memorial site to be. Ground Zero is nothing like that.
A huge skyscraper in progress towers above the busy city where rushed crowds scurry around below. Masses of workers in hard hats are all around, some eating sandwiches for their lunch break on the side of the road, some in line to reenter their work site grumbling over disappointing NBA plays. Hot Dog stands are close by and New Yorkers make their way to and fro.
There’s no pausing.
There’s no quiet.
It’s nothing like OKC, except for one thing.
There’s still remembering.
Everyone remembers. Even though there aren’t benches, steps, and long sidewalks there for people to sit or stroll to do their remembering, everyone still remembers. As they walk to work, eat their sandwiches on lunch break, as they put their hard hats on and stand in line to go back to work, and as hundreds upon hundreds of people go about their days- because they have to, and carry on with their lives – because they have to… they still remember.
We had a precious opportunity to meet Michael, one of those many hard hats working in Ground Zero. Michael lost a cousin here, right where he works 8-5 every day. His remains were never found.
Walking around the site was heartwrenching, as you can imagine. I don’t know how those workers do it everyday. This site is their lives – for years, this has been their lives. One day they’ll have the reflecting pool and the benches and the long sidewalks, for people to come and see. When that day comes I hope there will be pausing, and a little more quiet. I hope that day is soon. The reflecting pool is set to be done this fall. As time passes, the way this site looks now will change. Day by day it is being transformed by hardworking men and women.
In a few days, I’ll be gone and carrying on about my life. I’m so glad we got to see it at this point – mid-progress, but I hope to come back some day and see the finished product of all the years of their hard work. No matter what, having seen what I have…
I will remember.
We strolled through Battery park where we met Olga from Yugoslavia. She was adorable! She made KT put baby lotion on, asked my girls if I was good or if I needed to be fired as a mom, and also let Miss J know that she was the prettiest one. “Remember that,” she said. J
We took a lovely ride on the Staten Island Ferry and then hopped on a boat at Pier 17 for a tour of the Hudson River. We got to see the Statue of Liberty up close from the water, but opted to pass on the hours long excursion into the Statue. Maybe another trip. For now it was enough just to see Lady Liberty stand tall before us in all her glory. The boat tour was magnificent. I only wish I could record everything we’ve learned from people hear to keep forever.
Finally we made our way to Tribecca for dinner at Ninja New York, just what the girls have been MOST looking forward to. We had to take over a pharmacy bathroom for 20 minutes to transform ourselves for our girl’s night out but then we were ready to go!
The restaurant was the most amazing dining experience ever! Ninjas EVERYWHERE! They did tricks at our table, set our desserts on fire, and the food – OH my WORD the food! I was in HEAVEN!!! My not so much foody girls ate until they were satisfied but still left sushi and perfectly prepared vegetables and all kinds of top quality chef delights on the table when we left – which killed me – but I couldn’t eat another bite. However! Keliann and Miss J had their first taste of sushi tonight and I was so incredibly proud of them!!! Miss J spit hers out and KT just about choked swallowing hers – but the tried it!
Ground Zero was an incredible experience.
The girls LOVED Ninja New York. They asked me about 10 times if we could go back tomorrow.
KT loved the boat ride.
Ground Zero and tired feet.
Scripture of the day:
From Fostering Hope – Also fitting for what we say today…
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble ~ Psalm 9:9
Random – and also another high:
This morning as we were getting ready, Forever by Chris Brown came on and I got Miss J to get up and dance with me… we danced and danced and danced… twirling her around and around was just bliss.
Jacey said, “You see? This is what I’ve been living with always. Isn’t it awesome?”