October 03, 2009

September 11th in New York

I remember what I felt like the day the planes hit the towers, and where I was. I think everyone across the nation does. I couldn't even grasp the impact it had on New York until this past September 11th. I was lucky enough to honor the memory of those whose lives were taken in 2001 through service and reflection.

We began the day reflecting on what had happened, and what it meant to the communities we served. I was able to talk to some of my teammates that grew up in the city and heard their stories of the day. They could hear the towers being hit, and saw the smoke. The Brooklyn bridge was closed, and they remember walking across that night with dazed and confused masses. I couldn't even fathom what they had experienced in that day, that week, that year, or that month. So I didn't try. I just tried to do my best to honor the memories of the fallen.

We bonded and painted wall art for the Pediatric Ward of the Harlem Hospital right up the street from me on 135th. It was a great day: fun, meaningful, and mostly fun. We delivered our work to the hospital and saw the great work they are doing there. They have an entire art center set up where patients can express their minds through any medium they choose. There was one artist I found especially talented, Orville. I'll post his work below.

After finishing up our day, I decided to go to a memorial service. There were several going on all across the island, but I found an interfaith one hosted by a Buddhist church on the Hudson river. It was simply gorgeous, and mostly indescribable. To see several religions serving, worshiping, and reflecting together was simply awe-inspiring.

My friend Renee went with me to the both the service and Ground Zero that night. I know I should be more descriptive about the day and its impact, its poetry but it's been a few weeks and I still haven't been able to take it in. It's a mix between a deep, deep grief and complete hope for the future. I'll just post pictures, as my words are failing me.

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