9/11

Today I felt with them, the people on the screen. The box in the upper corner kept showing the real time in New York City, the creeping line at the bottom was slowly presenting the names of each of the 9/11 victims. From time to time there flashed information which kept track of the chronology of the events as they were developing– minute by minute. “8:46 – Flight 11 crushes into 1 World Trade Center … 9:03 – Flight 175 hits the south tower…” There were several moments of silence – to remember the planes which hit the towers, the collapse of the towers, the attack on the Pentagon and the plane that went down in a field in Pennsylvania. Each time when a moment of silence ensued, those who were reading the names of the victims stopped their reading. And then you could hear only the muffled noise of the water flowing into the pools which marked the place where the towers were ten years ago. I liked that the commemorative event didn’t contain official speeches. A few words said by the Mayor: “…the attacks had turned “a perfect blue-sky morning” into “the blackest of nights” and “…we can never unsee what happened here.” President Obama read Psalm 46: “…God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble…” Later the relatives of the victims slowly walked along the edge of the pools finding the names of their loved ones and touching the carved letters with their hands. Some of them put sheets of paper on the names and shaded the paper in such a way that the names underneath stood out clearly on the sheets.

From time to time one may read about the U.S.A. becoming weaker after 9/11. What I saw today was the opposite. I saw confidence, resilience and community spirit. And though nobody said those words but I saw the people were proud being Americans.

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