Three weeks ago I pay homage to the men and women who fell together with the twin towers on a fateful day more than a decade ago, it was September 11, 2001. It was a moment that I longed for all these years when I visited Ground Zero, the 9/11 Preview Site and the Saint Paul’s Chapel of Trinity Church located just in front of the now busy construction site of what was the World Trade Center.
I almost regret that I would not be able to blog about it exactly on September 11 due to internet-server problems. Then I realized that September 12 in the Philippines is September 11 in the United States. Lo and behold I woke up right away and composed my tribute to the unforgettable 9/11.
I looked forward more to visiting Ground Zero than the Statue of Liberty on my recent visit to New York; of course, it was poignant despite what seemed like a normal day in the city. The site was my first itinerary in New York. I cannot help but reminisce as I gaze up to the almost finished single tower that will replace the ill-fated twin towers. I came from exactly the other side of the world but the memory of that historic day embraced me as I imagined how it was like one of those who perished; those who were just like the many that go about their daily lives today, and perhaps many of those were just like me, a tourist who was just there gazing at the amazing heights of the twin towers.
The attack on the twin towers was not just an attack to the American people. On my way to America, I expected that this is a land of white English-speaking people. I proved wrong and now I know that America is a global community; a melting pot of the world’s various cultures, religions, languages, races, colors, beliefs and customs that despite the utter physical differences is a remarkable similarity, that everyone is human and has the right to live.
I am glad that I visited Ground Zero and I am happy that despite the sorrows of 9/11 and the tragedy it brought to the world a new tower will soon shine in the skylines of Manhattan. It will now symbolize new meaning for the United States, its people and the world affected by the tragedy one way or another.
It will stretch high up into the sky to show the world the resilience and tenacity of humanity to uphold its freedom. I salute you America for that. You are the land of the free and the home of the brave.