Saturday, September 10, 2011

9/11 - 10 years later, minus a day

10 years ago today, as a tourist in New York City standing near the Statue of Liberty, I took this picture. Neither I, nor most of the world, had any idea of what was to come in the next 24 hours, and how it would affect us. With so many shocking moments that morning with the attacks on the Twin Towers and The Pentagon, with moments of silence - not knowing what to say and what to believe, our lives were changed forever.
The World Trade Center, Monday, September 10th, 2001 (I took this picture from Liberty Island, mid afternoon as a storm was rolling in over Manhattan)

While taking this picture, I didn’t realized how symbolic this dramatic storm was, rolling in almost from nowhere. I never could have considered that the scene that I captured on film, within a handful of hours, would never be the same.
Where were you that day?
Everyone remembers where he or she was the early morning of September 11, 2001 when they heard the news of the attacks – and I certainly do too. But for me, when I think of the tragedies of 9/11, I’ll always think of where I was the day before, on Monday, September 10th, 2001.
September 10, 2001

On that day, in the morning, walking around downtown New York City, the air was fresh and clear and crisp and clean. The birds were singing, and although the temperatures were warm, the leaves were just starting to show signs of the fall season that would shortly arrive.
On that day, people were scurrying around from place to place, enjoying the weather, the blue skies, and walking along with their cups of coffee and their rolled up newspapers. They had places to go, people to see, lives to live.
On that day, I was a tourist in one of the most amazing cities in the world. I was so excited to be there, to take in the history, the atmosphere, the buildings, the people, and to satisfy a curiosity that had been building up in me after years of exposure from television shows, movies, songs and stories, all centered around New York City.
On that day, I still felt innocence in the world. I felt trust and compassion and love. The world felt right. With so much to see and to explore, it was a world where so much was possible – in fact, anything was possible, and it was all there standing in front of me.
10 years later, minus a day
10 years later, minus a day, I think we all need to remember at least a little of how we all felt that day, the day before our world changed.
We need to remember that even though we’ve lived through such devastating events, good still exists, and is present in each and every one of us.
We need to remember the positive influences we can have, because people are there and willing to listen and learn.
We need to remember to trust others, as we want them to trust us. Without trust, any society is doomed to live in fear.
We need to remember and honour those who were lost on September 11th, and those who were directly affected by the attacks, particularly with the loss of loved ones. We also need to remember that they would want us to continue on with our lives, if only as a tribute to theirs.
And lastly, we need to move on. We need to continue to work every day to build a world where we can all celebrate what we have, respect all others, and know that goodness in the world doesn’t just happen – it’s built from the collective effort of every single person on this earth.