It's probably somewhere on my top 10 list of places I want to visit before I die. A bucket list of sorts.
I want to see Broadway. The Statue of Liberty. I want to have that Carly Simon song playing in the background as I ride a ferry and go to Times Square and the Empire State Building and Ellis Island. Maybe wake up early one day to get a wave in on the Today Show.
And of course I want to see the memorial of 911
When I go, it will be as a tourist. As someone who will visit, get my fill and return home to my safe warm quiet and comforting community.
I wonder though what it is like for those who live there or work there or frequent there. Like I might to Chicago. I love just walking the streets of downtown Chicago. I feel like I know them like a familiar friend. But Chicago with all of its problems, does not have the scar that New York City does.
What would it be like to regularly pass a giant hole in the ground. A place where shining towers of human architecture and booming business and trade and tourism once thrived.
A constant reminder of what was. Of lives lost. Of fear and desperation. The images that will never leave the minds of all Americans, but how much more intensely for those who saw it first hand. And walk by a reminder if an intense trauma.
I can't even drive by my moms old nursing home without feeling a pit in my stomach. I drove by the Dhamer house in Milwaukee once and that gave me the creeps.
What then does it feel like to pass the burial ground of such an evil act. A place embedded with grief. Even 12 years later.
That's what I am thinking about tonight on the eve of 9/11.
And what good can possibly come out of this tragedy. Cause you know how much I long to and need to see light out if darkness. Good out of bad.
And maybe it's a few things. It brings us together. It's one of those events in history where we all have a collective and individual story. "Where were you when...". Like The Kennedy assassination.
But also just that people still walk by that spot. Life continues. People work. Tourists come. Through fear and sadness and pain. Life still sustains.
And to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Those lost and their families and friends who walk with a hole in their hearts. My heart is with you. You are not forgotten.