"" Writer's Wanderings: Ground Zero 3

Friday, December 16, 2005

Ground Zero 3

We took the subway to the station we thought was near Ground Zero and found ourselves about a block away. Walking toward the area was like walking through a pass in the mountains and suddenly having a huge valley open up before you. The noisy hustle and bustle of the city was shut out by the awesome quietness I felt as I looked at the gaping empty space in the middle of a city full of skyscrapers.

We walked to the fence and peered through. Below us there were bulldozers and construction vehicles looking no bigger than my grandson's toy trucks compared to the vastness of the empty foundation they were working on. There were still spots where you could see where the iron rods had supported walled structures. It didn't look like new construction. It was obvious that the rods and walls that were exposed below ground level had been attached to something--something that was no longer there.

Across the street, was the church where so many rescuers found refuge for short spells of time as they fought to find survivors in the ruble. Remnants of the memorials left on the fence, pictures and tributes were scattered about the church in displays that showed part of the story of those days following 9/11.

Out in the old graveyard in front of the church, there is a stump from a 100 year old tree that was the only thing destroyed in the yard when a beam from one of the buildings fell across it. It is amazing that nothing on the church was harmed. I couldn't help but think that maybe God felt that among all the suffering there needed to be a place to find comfort. Even today, the church continues to offer comfort to the relatives, the rescuers, the survivors who are still sorting out the tragedy that changed so many lives.

I wonder what NYC will ultimately do to the 16 acres of emptiness in the middle of lower Manhattan. Will they rebuild and cover the scars left behind of that terrible event? Or will they place something there to remind us that even though the scars may be ugly, there is healing.

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