As I walked down the concreted canyons of the New York financial disctrict, stepping through soot-laided streets, past armed militia and police barracades, breathing dusty air and catching glimpses of the broken skeletons of what was once the World Trade Towers, I was overwhelmed with the utter enormity of the event of September 11th. I stopped myself near the Wall Street Peir and stood transfixed at a huge crane of in the distance lifting tons of rubble from the streets and the backs of truck onto awaiting barges.
Like an enormous Erector Set, the cradle slowly swung back and forth with its mawful of twisted steel beams, dropping them into the ship. Although well off in the distance, the sound was defeaning.
I stood in the rain, wincing at each crash, realizing only then how impossible it would be to attempt to imagine what the collpase of the two towers would sound, or feel like. My heart went out not only ot all those who are lost, but even to all those who heard the defeaning rumble. Unimaginable. Enormous.
I am guilty of being human and letting my emotions sway back and forth.. back and forth.. like a giant pendulum crashing throiugh the rubble this way then that way, from side to side.
CRASH .. CRASH
Swinging to one side, I feel we deserve this attack. Our country has become the target for anyone who hates for we and our country are what symbolizes greed, lust, waste and selfisheness. Our twin tower are the final testiment to our over zealous quest to take the earth and the heavans like barbarisn at the gate.
But, walking down Wall Street, through the heart of the financial district, the pendulum swung back the other way.
The concrete castles and high reaching skyscrapers are not only a symbol of man’s greed and lust for power, but his symbol of strength, determination and pride. This country was not founded simply upon a lust for power, it was founded upon a set of ideals that all men are equal and have the right to dictate their our lives. The city of New York was not based on greed, but commerce, business, industry.
What I also find enormous is what this country has achieved in only three hundred years. This country has seen and faced it all during tis lifetime: opporession of human rights, bigotry, sexual discrimination, and even a great war amongst our brothers and sister, but I like to think we have learned from these experiences, and are strogner for it. What can be considered our saddest and weakest moments, where we let our doubts and insecurites rise up, can also be labelled our strengths, for regardless of our all too human frailities and emotions our accomplishments speak for themselves. We should build ourselves up and be proud, for we have achieved much in such short time.
Our enemies, however, are centries olders than us. They have existed for hundreds of years, and the hate, ignorance and fear which fuels them on is even older, but they have not learned. Nor, as evident from the recent attack, is it likely they ever will.
Right now in our country, our emotions are swinging back and forth.. back and forth. The most enormous things we are still yet to face: our attempt to bring our enemies to their knees and let justice be served, and our monumental task of recognizing our current sentimentality is indeed fleeting, and the penduleum will swing back the other way. We must recognize this, be aware of this, and be strong enough in hearts and in our communities, to keep swinging it back the other way.