America’s Greatest Achievement – The September 11th Memorial

12 09 2011

Ten years later, and another perfect day opens, with a blue sky over New York.
Mayor Bloomberg, a self-made billionaire had contributed “10-15 million” for the success of this event. Music was from Yoyo Ma, James Taylor and Paul Simon. I would have hoped for Peter, Paul and Mary, as they had sung at the great Martin Luther King “I have a dream” rally in 1963.
The Brooklyn Girls Chorus sang the Star Spangled Banner. VIPs spoke: Gov. Cuomo of New York gave ‘The 4 Freedoms’ first expounded by FDR. Gov. Chris Christie chose a poem because New Jersey was where many of the 2,700 lost had lived. 67 British were lost that day, the most after the USA itself. President George W. Bush read out a letter written by Abraham Lincoln. The only wrong note was actually by the president. He is a noted speechmaker, although not to the level of FDR or most especially President Kennedy. However, this day Mr. Obama took words from the bible “… the God of Jacob.” This was mythic and abstract on a day which was for reality.
The grounding of the whole ceremony went far beyond speeches and songs. Just the simple eloquence of the 2,977 names of the remembered read out by the bereaved families. 9 names were read at a time, the tenth being their own dearly remembered and most special loved one. Indeed, they all spoke of love and sometimes charming memories of their heroes, alas mostly vanished without even a scant trace. This included Mohammed “… a good American …” so eulogised his mother. They stood before the world in dignified pairs. Behind each pair stood a sturdy, New York uniformed officer, in symbolic, silent testament. Many were New York City Firemen who lost that day 343. As others tumbled out those doomed buildings, they ran the other way, into and unto their deaths.
For the first time the families could now go and find the names of their historic deceased, cut into the stone. So well thought out were these names, that they were reachable by those in wheelchairs. This, together with the reading of those names, could at last bring them hoped for closure.
The base of the old Twin Towers was, to me, not a void, but a symbol of the depth of the goodness and decency to be found in America, and so magnificently exemplified by those families. The created waterfalls (biggest in America) represented simply HOPE.

Ten years after, America achieved in history– the finest ceremony to be ever determined anywhere else in the world. Democracy, made real by tragic loss, achieved this, at their magnificent final resting place.



One response

12 09 2011
Larry Meegan

Hey George, are you in NYC?

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