Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

17 years ago, 4 weeks after 9/11, I walked the perimeter of Ground Zero. I dubbed this “The Mile of Tears” and wrote about it in my blog The World Trade Center Journal. The images, the smells, and the dust, I shall never forget that walk. In the corner of a building’s entrance (all stores were shuttered during that time) I saw some dust piled into a crevice. Taking a plastic bag from my purse and carefully, tenderly, I scooped that dust into it. I felt that this was the last remains of the towers and might even contain human ash from when they burned.

That small bag of dust has been contained in a special box for all these years. Each 9/11 I place that small box in a prominent place in my house, along with a crucifix, a picture of the twin towers and candles. This is MY annual 9/11 memorial. This year it takes on a new meaning.

When the first responders ran to the WTC to rescue people they had no time to think about themselves. As we know many lost their lives in their acts of heroism during those ensuing hours. Later, hundreds of these first responders descended upon Ground Zero, to work on what was then known as “the Pile”, trying to locate anyone who might have been buried alive. Days, weeks, months passed that they worked down there, many without wearing any protective masks, inhaling the dark, gray, toxic dust. The same dust I now have in my little box.

Over the years that dust, lodged in their bodies, spawned cancers of all types. During these years they also had to fight for their rights for health insurance payouts, as one after another succumbed to the various diseases. Our heroes, those who died after that day in September, though not quite forgotten were never memorialized in either the WTC memorial or in the annual reading of names.

This year, that’s been rectified. The conceptual design for a new memorial at Ground Zero was unveiled Wednesday May 23, 2018 for the “Memorial Glade”. It will honor those first responders who labored for months on the toxic site and remember the neighborhood residents and workers also poisoned by the air.

Morgan Gstalter writes, “The 9/11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center will be modified to honor rescue and recovery workers who have died from related illnesses. ‘The 9/11 Memorial & Museum at the World Trade Center is determined to build greater awareness about this unabating health crisis,’ Stewart and Greenwald wrote. Six large stone elements will be placed along a new pathway on the southwest side of the existing plaza.

‘The stones are worn and broken, but not beaten; they appear to jut up and out of the plaza as if violently displaced, and convey strength and resistance,’ according to Michael Arad.

Arad, along with Peter Walker, were the original designers of the 9/11 Memorial and also designed the addition.

The stones will mirror the path of the main ramp used by the rescue and recovery workers.

The 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund released new data earlier this month that found victims and first responders are reporting ‘increasing numbers and types of illnesses’ nearly two decades after the attacks.”

Morgan Gstalter  – 05/30/18 11:24 am edt “Jon Stewart announces new section of 9/11 memorial to honor first responders” http://Thehill.Com/Homenews/News/389879-Jon-Stewart-Announces-9-11-Memorial-For-First-Responders-Who-Died-From

And the path will end near the Survivor Tree, the enduring symbol of the city’s resilience.

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Quote of the Week

Posted: August 22, 2018 in Uncategorized

“There are many paths to the top of the mountain, but only one view.” – Harry Millner

Fun With Words

Posted: May 18, 2018 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

You don’t have to be religious to enjoy these grammar bloopers:

All singles are invited to join us Friday at 7 pm for the annual Sing-alone.

Remember in prayer the many who are sick of our church and the community.

For those who have children and don’t know it, we have a nursery downstairs.

A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow.

At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be, “What is Hell?” Come early and listen to our choir practice.

Catholicpages.com

Fun with words

Posted: March 11, 2018 in Uncategorized

We say of lawyers who lose their official standing before the bar through some misdemeanor that they are “disbarred”. Similarly, priests are subject to the penalty of being “unfrocked”, the frock being their clerical dress.

For the sake of consistency, perhaps this theme should be carried out for other professions as well. Electricians could be: delighted; musicians: denoted; cowboys: deranged; models: deposed; judges: distorted; dressmakers: unbiased. As for office workers, if they misbehaved, they could be defiled. – from Liguorian Magazine, “Lucid Intervals”

Ours is a noisy culture. Voices on cell phones, U-tube, television all vie for our attention. No matter where you go, there is always some sort of music blaring in the background. Or you plug yourself into your i-Phone/i-Pod and walk down the street ignoring all around you. Layer on top of that the screech of cars, airplanes flying overhead, and the obnoxious barking dog on the street how is anyone supposed to focus, think, enjoy the beauties of the world around them. Indeed our world is LOUD.

As a writer, I can also add to that the noise the voice in my head. It is always crafting sentences, how to turn my adventures into stories, what to write for a blog post. But I have also discovered silence as a tool to help me be a better writer, a better person, and to put me in touch with myself and my Creator

Here is a quote from Simon and Garfunkle’s well known song of the 60s “The Sounds of Silence”:

“And in the naked light I saw ten thousand people, maybe more.

People talking without speaking, people hearing without listening

People writing songs that voices never share…

And the signs said ‘The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls

And tenement halls’

And whisper’d in the sounds of silence.”

It takes time to make peace with silence. But once you do the benefits will quickly astound you. Take time to unplug, close your windows, lie still on your bed and…just breathe. Once the original anxiety over what you should do passes, you will find your mind clearing, and a song entering your soul. God speaks in those quiet moments as Psalm 46 states “Be still and know that I am God!” Or take a drive through the country on a nice day, no radio, no cell phone, just you and the beauty of nature. Let us not burry our humanity in the noise of technology or the beauty of creation in constant distractions that really do not feed our soul. Life is too short!

9/11

Posted: September 10, 2016 in Uncategorized

Keeping the Flame Alive

 

Like a beached whale the Oculus sits

Giving entry to the caverns beneath,

Sucking in people on the east perimeter of Ground Zero.

A recent addition to the rebuilding of sacred ground,

The whale yawns and gladly swallows the masses

Who now will shop in its belly’s mall.

 

The park on the South side

Was an afterthought to the relatively barren

View of the memorial below.

In a space of massive concrete and steel

Some colorful flowers might sooth the soul.

So walk its well-planned space,

Look at the growing things,

Turn and face the other side of what once was.

Can the pain of Ground Zero be that easily shut out?

 

What have we grown in this precious space?

Could any dreams have visualized what it’s become?

The Pit, became the Pile, became the “empty space”

Now to morph into a jumble of a NYC space

Never envisioned in the architect’s original plans.

 

Where smoke and fire rose.

Where DNA was smothered in concrete.

Where footprints were left in the dust…

We cannot turn it into the beauty it was before that day.

So remember the lost and keep an eternal flame

For them burning in our hearts.

Remembering 9/11- 15th Anniversary

Posted: September 3, 2016 in Uncategorized

9/11 is only a few days away. Do you remember the days and weeks afterwards, where as a nation we came together to pray, to support our first responders, to voice our fears but also our pride in this great country? Do you remember what our president said as he stood on the Pile addressing those brave men and women who were doing a job no one should ever be asked to do. So what have we become 15 years later?

We now listen daily to two presidential candidates who spew such negative rhetoric that it makes me ashamed to consider that one of them will represent our nation. One rattles on with unedited negative comments, while the other carefully Clorox’s the message hoping to sound “above it all”. What I am pointing out has nothing to do with their policies or which one has the best agenda. I am saying that the vitriol these two individuals unleash with their words is poisoning our nation and making us the laughing stock across the globe.

But back to the topic of 9/11 and the 15th anniversary. What we need on that day is to focus on its real meaning. We need to make that day a day of silence from all the verbal junk bombarding us. No speeches, no ads, no person trying to convince me that he/she is the best for the job. From the presidential candidates down to local mayoral races, please take a day off from all this verbal mudslinging. Read what 9/11 family members have to say about this in a very good article “Leading 9/11 Family Members Urge Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein to Observe Campaign Moratorium for 15th Anniversary of the September 11 Attacks”

We should join together on this Sept 11 and follow David Paine’s advice (president and co-founder of 9/11 Day):  “We believe the 9/11 community, along with the nation, deserves a day of peace and unity, as we collectively prepare to honor those lost on 9/11, the survivors, and the many who rose in service in response to the attacks.”

9/11 Day has also enlisted a group of 21 youth ambassadors who were born on the that day and are now almost 15 years old, to help spread the word to the next generation of Americans through social media.  “Nearly a quarter of all Americans today are under age 18, and most have no or very limited memories of the attacks and their immediate aftermath,” said Jay S. Winuk, executive vice president and co-founder of 9/11 Day. Click here to read the rest of the article.

So let us focus on the real meaning of that day: To keep those who are not with us forever in our hearts!