Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Liberty and Justice for All

Our second trip since Toronto was a very nice surprise for Scott. Through the J-Body activities in Ontario and Ohio, Scott and I met a group of very cool guys from the New York area. Eric and James from Staten Island, and Al from New Jersey. When we lived in Toronto, they drove for 8+ hours, several times, to participate in J-Body events and hang out with us. They also drove for 9+ hours to get to Ohio. I figured it was time we made the effort to go and see them in their hometown. During our visit to Ohio, I put the plans in motion for a Labor Day weekend trip to New York.

I told Scott we were going on a trip for his birthday, but I wouldn't tell him where. He assumed we were going to So. Cal, because I'd always talked about going to Disneyland, Los Angeles or Pismo Beach. He continued to believe this right up until 2 hours before our flight. When I dropped the bomb that we were going to New York, he went crazy. He'd always wanted to visit James, Al and Eric, but didn't think we could afford it. My persistence and well-developed sleuthing skills made that possible. By flying into New Jersey and staying at a Days Inn 20 minutes south of the airport, we saved a substantial amount of cash. Gotta love the Internet.

Our weekend was one to remember. Almost one year before, to the day, I was sitting in a tour bus at the base of the still-standing Twin Towers with my sisters, marvelling at how two buildings could be so tall and still stand. I remember the tour guide saying that 50,000 people worked in those buildings. I wanted to take a picture, but the angle was all wrong because I was looking straight up at them. I told myself I would take a picture later.

I never took the picture. Two days later, the towers were destroyed.

And this weekend, one year and one week after the tragedy of September 11th, I stood at what was the base of the Twin Towers - now, a large hole in the ground, a void where a symbol of greatness once stood.

The mood amongst those who gathered there was somber and reflective. Many took pictures and video, some talked amongst themselves, some stood in silence. For me, and for many others, standing there was a time for reflection, prayer, mourning and even some tears. I knew that visiting the site of the greatest tragedy against the American people in my generation would be difficult. But this day, one year after I looked up at the massive towers from that red tour bus, I was ready for closure.

I leaned against the chain-link fence, closed my eyes, reflected and prayed. For all the victims of this deliberate tragedy. For all their friends, families, coworkers and those whose lives the victims touched. For all the brave firefighters and rescue crew who gave the ultimate sacrifice to save others. For the people of New York, the United States, and the civilized world, all of whom who have been affected by this act of pure evil.

I also prayed for the hearts and souls of those who feel that violence and death is their way to approval, justice and eternal life. I hope someday that God would show them the real truth; that violence and killing is never justified, in His name or anyone else's. Someday, I hope, people of all races and religions will peacefully coexist, accepting each other's differences without judgment or condemnation. And someday, I hope that the Palestinian people will be given back their home that was ripped from them with the sanction of the United Nations. I hope that they will prosper, and will be able to sustain themselves and feed their children. And I hope that they and the Israelis will find it in their hearts to forgive decades of violence, terrorism and injustice and coexist in peace.

Someday. Maybe in my lifetime. I hope.

We spent a most excellent weekend touring the city of New York, shopping, running go-karts and having a blast with our friends. Next year, they say, they will come and visit us.

[see next post]


Post a Comment

<< Home

Keywords: Andrea Di Lecce, andrea di lecce, Andrea DiLecce, andrea dilecce, Andrea Abrahamsen, andrea abrahamsen, Slinky, slinky, SlinkyGal, SLiNKyGaL, slinkygal, SlinkyDee, slinkydee, Toronto, toronto, San Francisco, san francisco, San Jose, san jose, softball, Seido karate, volleyball, blog, emotion, philosophy, funny, jokes, musings, psychology, EMT, EMS, emergency medical services