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Saturday, August 22, 2015

I've Been Stewing

Marti and I decided to do something special for our 38th anniversary.  It's been a long time since we had been in New York City, being close by we decided it was time.

We hopped a train instead of driving so we could be foot loose and fancy free to bop around the city and not have to find a place to park our car.  Looking back, I don't know if we'll do that again because the wait for the trains both coming and going took a very long time, hours we could have been doing something.

We lived on Governors Island just off the tip of Manhattan for three years and often ventured in the city.  Years later I did a tour back in the city (although we lived in NJ that time) and traveled all around for my job.

One thing that stood our prominently both times were the twin towers of the World Trade Center.  We had our kids up on top of the towers a couple of times and I spent many work related hours in them.  When the terrorist attacks of 9/11 happened, we were shocked and sickened to see the terrible tragedy that not only destroyed the towers, but so many lives and happy families.

We wanted to see the memorial to the towers, so we headed downtown to see them.  Instead of building new towers where the old ones stood, the "footprints" of the towers have been left free of buildings.




Instead, very thoughtful fountains have been constructed on the footprints, with waterfalls flowing over the edges like never ending tears.  All around the fountain edges are inscribed the names of the victims of the tragedy to be remembered.



Standing next to the footprint fountain I did get a little teary eyed, even though I had no personal loss of any relative or friend, I still felt the sadness of what happened here.  So senseless.

Looking around I got very upset at many of the people who were there.  There were too many that were making light of this hallowed place, laughing, joking, taking selfies with the fountains in the background.  How could this be happening at this memorial?

Another thing we noticed, there was no American flag flying anywhere on the grounds.  I know that many people from all over the world lost their lives here, but the vast majority were American citizens.  How can we as a nation not show our pride in who we are and show the world that despite a horrific attack, we still are a strong, freedom loving nation?  I am appalled that there is no flag.

Later, on the train ride home, I was sitting next to a lady who was traveling to the same stop as we were.  In our conversation, she asked what we had done on our trip and the subject of the World Trade Center came up.  I shared my feelings with her and found she appreciated them and agreed with me.  She had real pain from the attack, she told me she had lost her husband there.

I told her how very sorry I was for her loss, but how can words ever heal someone from such a terrible tragedy? 



17 comments:

  1. I purposely didn't go to the memorial when we were in NYC several years ago because I knew I would just stand there and bawl. It does seem a real shame that there are no flags. I wonder what the logic was on that.

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  2. I purposely didn't go to the memorial when we were in NYC several years ago because I knew I would just stand there and bawl. It does seem a real shame that there are no flags. I wonder what the logic was on that.

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  3. We are not city people and are not likely to go to NYC. I remember this horrible event, I was working that morning and our whole shop was called in to witness this terrible tragedy as it was happening. Not a single word was murmured other than that this cannot be happening so sad. And really no American flag? Hmmm....

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  4. Congratulations on your 38 years! It does seem strange that our flag is not there, it was a moment in our own history and should be honored as such. Sorry to hear that the trains and public transport weren't even especially usable by someone who knows the city. I would surely hate to drive there, however.

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  5. Amazing story - I agree, there should be lots of flags there.

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  6. I searched google for an answer to why there is no flag at the 911 Memorial Fountains. I did get info that there are flags in different location of the memorial, but nothing regarding the fountains. If there indeed is no American flag flying at the fountains, we need to voice our concern. While not all who died were Americans, this was an attack against America on American soil. I am at least going to write to my senator and/or congressman and express my concern. You should be steaming and thanks for your service!!!

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    1. There was an American flag, a NY state flag and a NYC flag about a block away, but nothing anywhere near the memorial fountains.

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    2. Well, for what its worth, I wrote both Florida Senators and said the following:

      It is my understanding that there are no American flags flying at the 911 Memorial Fountains. If this is true, I do not understand why. I realize that not everyone who died was American. However, this was an attack against America on American soil and those who died should have our flag flying above their memorial!!!

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    3. Good for you! I can't get over it. There is a flag proudly flying over the USS Arizona memorial in Hawaii. Flags abound in Arlington National Cemetery, is this some kind of warped political correctness?

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  7. Amazing story - I agree, there should be lots of flags there.

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  8. Amazing story - I agree, there should be lots of flags there.

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  9. We haven't been there since the memorial has been completed... but it just doesn't seem right that an American flag isn't flown there.

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  10. I'm surprised no flag was there. We need to voice our opinions and get it changed.

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  11. Sounds like we are all in agreement about the absence of the flag. I'm amazed that no one has brought this up before. Seems like the people of New York would certainly have noticed that. How synchronistic that you happened to sit next to someone whose life was so tragically impacted by this horror.

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  12. I haven't been to the completed memorial yet. I'm sure it is very moving. I too think there should be a flag there flying proudly above!

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  13. Goes without saying that there should be a US flag at the Memorial Fountains. I see nothing wrong with taking photographs at any memorial, but it should be done quietly, respectfully as befitting the nature of memorials. Alas, many don't even consider why the memorials they are visiting were even erected.

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  14. We visited the site several times since the towers came down but haven't been there after the memorial was finished. Not sure whose idea it was to not fly the American flag but it wasn't a good one, for sure.

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