Running toward the future: there is hope beyond 9/11

IMG_0334Today is a nostalgic and heartening day for New Yorkers and those around the country as we recall the events of September 11, 2001: the day our world (view) changed forever. I hardly ever deviate from my running rants but I thought today was deserving of an exception, though not really, because this is New York and it’s my home now..my running home..and pretty much everything can be tied to running.

Below is a brief outline, courtesy History.com, of what went down on that day here in New York while I stood thousands of miles away before a television at Piarco Int’l Airport in Trinidad, my home country.

On a clear, sunny late summer day in September 2001, Al Qaeda terrorists aboard three hijacked passenger planes carried out co-ordinated suicide attacks against the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., killing everyone on board the planes and nearly 3,000 people on the ground. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field, killing all on board, after passengers and crew attempted to wrest control from the hijackers.

It is one of the notable things that when something momentous occurs in our lives, we hardly ever forget, even the minute details surrounding that occasion, as with that day as I was standing by the television in our lounge area at work. I remember what I was wearing, who I was talking to, precisely what I was doing..everything stands out in stark clarity in that moment in time as I saw the plane going into the tower..it felt so unreal that I remember my first words were – is that a movie – what followed was the most horrific and real live event I have ever seen on television, and to this day, those images of people jumping from buildings, the crash, the fire, the cries, the smoke, the carnage are embedded in my memory. The irony is, I never at that time thought that six years later I’d be here; back then, I was so very distraught for the suffering and pain of fellow human beings, and honestly, I was glad I wasn’t there. Selfish but true. How time changes things, changes us, mostly for the better I think. Today I stand here, not quite the New Yorker I’m told, though I like to think I am – I’m still too much of a tourist and enjoy the city too much. Be that as it may, I am heartened along with New Yorkers as we remember all those who died on that fateful day. In somebody’s famous words –

“We Remember, We Rebuild, We come back Stronger.”

imageToday Ground Zero stands with the famed Freedom Tower/ 1 World Trade imageCenter and the memorial as beacons of hope, strength, fortitude and vision. It is the heart and love of New York where everyone comes with one purpose in mind, to honor and remember those who died here. It is here we are reminded how alike we; what being human really means. So today, I’m running to #1 World Trade Center as I remember the victims of 9/11, thanking God for this opportunity and for the many that have arisen out of this tragedy for New Yorkers and the city of New York.imageWhat they, the highjackers and terrorists, meant for evil, God will work out for good. They thought to destroy, to weaken , to conquor and divide but in truth, what they have done is embolden a nation, strengthen it’s backbone, unify its people and inspire hope, faith and a sense of community in a people that will continue to rise victoriously; one nation under God.

Victims, because you can’t run anymore..this one’s for you. Survivors, because of your strength..I run in hope with you.

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