This morning, radio station WNYC had a call-in to discuss whether the city had become divided into two halves- those who remember 9/11 and want to continue commemorating the day, and those who did not experience the events or feel uncomfortable memorializing the tragedy. My husband, who I usually refer to as Mr. GoMet, and I are a part of the half who not don't merely remember, but can never forget. In the moments that I, late to meet up for our date in front of the World Trade Center, watched the events unfold on TV, I was unsure of whether he escaped from his office in the World Financial Center building next door. As his co-workers and thousands more struggled to evacuate the area, firefighters worked there way onto the scene and, too often, to their own end. I had been seeing Mark for about nine months at that point, and, while my head was filling with worried questions about the names and faces I had come to know, I had no idea how many firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers were being taken from us. I didn't know that my father, a captain in the fire department, was safely riding a bus on a training assignment, which prevented he and his group from being sacrificed,too.
When it became clear who was spared and who was lost, it felt as if life was divided into halves- the more innocent before and whatever after would become. In the life we've made together since, we've been so fortunate to have time and opportunity for happiness- but always hold, in our hearts, the memories of what happened. Not only the horror, but the heroism. Not the morbidity of death but the love, humor, courage, achievements- the spirit of life people should be remember for.
When we see the spotlights that shine in tribute to the towers, as they will tonight, its still chilling and profoundly sad. When we hear families read the names, and there are so, so many, it reminds us of the people who can't choose how they feel about today, because their choice, or their loved ones, were taken in those moments. And when we see tourists at the site, posing and mugging for the camera without reverence for what that place is ( a grave.) we are angered by their ignorance and disrespect.
This is one of the most beautiful, vibrant, exciting cities in the world. We created this site because we want you to have the very best time here- and if you're making New York your new home, we hope to make that easier, too. Part of that, today, is letting you know that you may be on streets, and among people, who seem unaffected by the date- but you may also be standing beside someone who finds this day more tough than others. Our advice is to be aware, be more sensitive, and be kind. Here are some links to news and information about todays memorial events:
1010 WINS a.m. Radio:their site
About. Com lists various events, including commemorative concerts around the city and, at 6 p.m., through the New York Buddhist Church, a floating lantern ceremony at Pier 40 on thein rememberance of victims.
At Madison Square Garden, Jay-Z will be performing a benefit concert. Proceeds will go to the Police and Fire Widows and Children's Benefit Fund. Though tickets are sold out, you can do your part by learning more and making a donation here.
When Prince Harry made his recent visit here, we mentioned the British Memorial Garden in Lower Manhattan, which was created to honor the 67 British subjects who died on September 11th. You can learn more about the garden, map it on our site and find your way there, here.
The Firefighter Steven Siller Tunnel To Towers Run/Walk has become an annual fundraising event and will be held this year on Sunday, Spetember 27th at 9:30 a.m. . This event retraces the steps of Siller, a Brooklyn Firefighter and father of five who, on 9/11, was off-duty and heading to a, but heard about the attack on his radio scanner. When he couldn’t drive through the roadblocks that had been hastily set up, he loaded himself with his gear and made his way, on foot, from the Brooklyn side of the Battery Tunnel toward the World Trade Center. And, as it reads in his biography on the website “He was last seen alive on West and Liberty Streets where he, more than likely, went looking for his Squad, all of whom perished.” The event is held each year, not only in his honor but to honor all of the people who selflessly gave of themselves, and gave their lives that day. Some of the participants run in full issued gear, which is an incredibly moving tribute. The event draws a diverse array of participants drawn to the spirit of helping, support, and remembrance like these two men, firefighters from Bristol, UK. Registration is still open, so, if you would like to participate, or just learn more to support the people taking part, find out more on their website.
Watching this morning's memorial at Ground Zero, I was so moved by the fact that they chose Carly Simon and her children to sing "Let The River Run" While it might seem to be a silly comedy to some, "Working Girl" is one of my most favourite films because Tess,'s background, ambitions, and journey inspired me and were eventually reflected in my own life. In fact, her experience was like that of so many New Yorkers living and working here- the feeling of being outside great success, the awe of what is beyond their reach, and the incredible determination to close that distance. Post 9/11, "Working Girl" is a love letter to the way the city was but its story and the song, with such a beautiful imagery and a call to fulfill our dreams, still ring true.