Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Scars of the City

September 11, 2001. A day we shall never forget.

Thirteen years... Today is the annual day on which I cannot write the date at the top of a page without pausing, reflecting, and feeling many things. For a moment, everything around me is silent, and I feel numb. As I stare at the date, a plane crashes into the the two penciled ones. Eleven falls. Black smoke rises. My heart twists, and I feel angry, sad, and still in shock. I was five years old when it happened. But I remember it so clearly. I just cannot even fathom what this day induces in the hearts of all those who were there- those who witnessed and who lost.

I visited New York City with my family three years ago, in 2011, ten years after the horrific event. As we stood near the not-yet-completed One World Trade Center building, our tour guide informed us different facts regarding the tower. He mentioned things such as that it would stand 1,776 feet tall (note the significance of that number. Hint: it's a year ;) making it taller than The Empire State Building, and the new tallest building in NYC. Then someone asked, "Where were you...when it happened?"

A graveness passed over his face and immobilized him. He no longer spoke in his tour guide voice, but with one that was very distant. "I was in my apartment on the twentieth floor...watching. I saw it all."

He then cleared his throat and pointed out different places of damage. There was a large cross-walk structure above us. On its side was a large scrape. The tour guide explained that what was destroyed was replaced, but those certain damaged sections were still able to serve their structural purpose, so they were left as they were, defiled.

He told us how the 18th century chapel, St. Paul's, just across Dey street from the World Trade Center, though blanketed in debris and soot, somehow still stood, untouched.

Then he pointed to a large, round chunk of metal, that looked like it was dug up from a junk yard. However, once he explained what it was, it became so beautiful and moving. The battered bronze orb had been the sculpture at the very center of the World Trade Center. It was salvaged from the rubble.

The Sphere by Fritz Koenig. My photograph taken 10 years after 9/11.
Before 9/11, The Sphere, by Fritz Koenig. Photo credit: Mark Lentz
The artist, Fritz Koenig, designed and created the sculpture as a "monument to world peace through trade.If only he had any idea, as he formed his piece of art, how much it would fulfill that meaning; and how it would become a memorial and symbol for so much more.

Of course, not only was Koenig's Sphere bashed and scarred by the events of 9/11, but God's Sphere as well. We too, as a nation, have been rescued from beneath the collapsed towers and debris. We too, have a gouge in our heart. We too, still stand- indivisible and scarred.

Image source: HuffingtonPost

Photograph of The Sphere after 9/11 is my own. Photograph of The Sphere before 9/11 is by Mark Lentz. Source:

For more of the story of The Sphere
Regarding St. Paul's Chapel, I referenced this map, and this National Geographic article.
Information on One World Trade Center:

Here is my Never Forget story and remembrance of that frightful day. (click link)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Feedback? Love it like a panda? Want to strangle me with words? TYPE HERE.

Random Posts