Monday, September 11, 2006
It is a somber day and always will be to me. This is a picture I took at Battery Park in lower Manhattan. It is named the Sphere and it used to sit atop the granite fountain in the 5-acre World Trade Center Plaza. It was structurally intact when uncovered from the debris except the gash through the center. It was one of two public artworks that survived the collapse of the buildings. Artist Fritz Koenig created the 15-foot high, 22.5-ton steel and bronze sculpture in 1971. The sculpture was a “monument to fostering world peace.” Six months after the attack it was erected again and dedicated as an interim memorial. The eternal flame was added on September 11, 2002.
Everybody probably remembers what they were doing that fateful day. I was working in a big garden in New Canaan. After watching the TV coverage I went to a remote part of the garden and contemplated the events. The garden was a good place to be. It provided a place for the shock to wear off. I had been to the top of the WTC many times and had often stayed at the Marriott Hotel. I will not forget after living in England for a year, many years ago, on the return flight I woke up and looked out the window and saw the Twin Towers and I knew I was home. I had to drive to Hoboken, New Jersey on September 15, 2001. As I drove down the West Side Highway where the cruise ships dock, I noticed a very long white plywood fence. I thought it was odd that they had erected some advertising in the area. When I got closer I realized that it wasn’t a fence but the place to put up ‘lost’ people flyers and pictures. It really hit me in the gut, my wife was overcome with emotion then and when we viewed the fire from the other side of the Hudson River. This fence was long. It put things a little in perspective to me.
God bless the souls that were lost and the resulting waves of sorrow that affected all the families and everyone else afterward. I once said, “Things will never be the same around here again.” Lately I have begun to doubt that statement as my recent trip to Lower Manhattan found things almost back to normal.
Back to the flowers tomorrow.