New York is intense. So many layers of culture and history are tightly bound in such a small area that just a short list of its locations–Ellis Island, Central Park, Yankee Stadium, Times Square, Greenwich Village, and Wall Street–is overwhelming.
And then there’s Ground Zero. I returned just today from my first trip to NYC, and I will admit to some nervous tension as I trod the financial district towards the sight of the 9/11 tragedy. The feeling was likely a combination of finally witnessing the sight of such a horrific and life-changing event, as well as the gut-clenching remembrance of that day when so many thousands of Americans, some of them fellow police officers, died at the hands of terrorists. Has it been almost ten years?
When I finally arrived at Ground Zero, the vacant lot that formerly held seven buildings of the World Trade Center, I saw nothing more than a construction site. From the ashes of the Trade Center rubble we all observed on television following the attacks, a new building and a new memorial were emerging before the eyes of a mournful, curious and large crowd. The new structures included the Reflection Pond, on track to be completed in time for the ten year anniversary this September 11th, and the new skyscraper that was already pushing up into the skyline. The terrorist attacks may have knocked our country out of its usual orbit, but it seemed we were back on track. Read more »