As many of you know today is the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City that killed thousands of innocent lives and changed the history and the culture of America better know as 9/11. Back in July on a bright sunny day I went down to the construction site of the new WTC towers to photograph the new buildings as they were being built and wrote about it in my blog entitled Rising From the Ashes.
Today, was somber and grey and I had planned to go back to that site to document the 10th anniversary memorial services and capture the emotions of the day on the faces of the visitors and to pay homage to all who died on that tragic day. But alas the police would not let anyone near the new WTC and 9/11 memorial who carried a backpack and of course I was carrying a back pack. Plain and simple, there was no argument.
Not to be deterred I decided to stay on Broadway and Fulton Street for a little while and photograph the crowds around St. Paul’s Chapel. Across from St. Paul’s there was a group of conspiracy theorists protesting peacefully but with emotion waving banners and billboards and small American flags. The front of St. Paul’s was festooned in white ribbons know as Remembrance Ribbons. You could go into the chapel grab a ribbon and write any heart-felt feelings about the day or the name of a lost loved one on this ribbon and tie it to the wrought iron gate surrounding St. Paul’s. Some people attached flags, flowers or a photo to their ribbons. A small parade of Fire Fighters marched along Broadway carrying bright red flags their faces solemn in homage to their fallen comrades.
My next stop was Battery Park to photograph the beautiful Flags of Honor (civilians) and of Heroes (firefighters and police) which seem to have sprouted all over the lawns from one end of the park to the other. Each flag resembling the American flag contain the names of everyone who died ten years ago on September 11th 2001. The park was filled with a profound peace and humble quiet as people walked between the rows of flags reaching out to pull a flag closer to better read the names printed on them.
Remembrance- we will never forget. Reluctance – we must learn to let go and move on. Respect – the memory of those we lost and continue to live with courage and freedom.