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?