Beauty from Ashes

Orlando was the lucky driver who got to cart two ladies around Jersey City and New York City. Our original plan was to ride the ferry to Ellis Island and see the Statue of Liberty. Orlando took every side street in Jersey City to get us to Liberty State Park. As he drove us closer to the ferry station, he made a really astute observation. We were the only car there! Just then, a Jersey police car drove by and Orlando asked about the ferry. “The last ferry runs at 3:30 p.m. and starts back up at 8:00 a.m.”  So Debbie and I got some nice pictures of the back-side of Miss Liberty from the park.
So now what? We didn’t want to go back to the hotel early, so Orlando suggested Ground Zero and Freedom Tower. About 20 minutes later, we arrived at Ground Zero. Standing 2 blocks from the Freedom Tower, it is so massive the spire looks like it disappears into the clouds. Did you know that the spire allows the building to reach a symbolic 1776 feet – a fitting reference to the year of our Declaration of Independence.
Orlando drove slowly and around all four sides of the area known as Ground Zero. I always like to ask people I meet in NY where they were on September 11, 2001. I haven’t been surprised to hear that every person I ask knows exactly what he/she was doing and where they were when the planes hit the towers. Orlando was working as an EMT at the time and was one of the first responders. As he worked desperately to help during the pandemonium, he watched people throwing themselves out of the top floors of the buildings.
It’s hard to describe in words the expanse that was affected by two 110-story buildings and surroundings. It was a sobering experience, and I’m so glad I got to experience Ground Zero in person. Even after 13 years, there is still a lot of work to be done. However, the Freedom Tower is literally and figuratively “Beauty from Ashes”.

Memorial post at Ground Zero

Memorial post at Ground Zero

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