9/11, Twelve Years Later

120px-Wtc-2004-memorial[1]I was grateful today that it wasn’t one of those blue-sky September days, but muggy and cloudy.  Every September when the sky is that clear, unclouded blue I remember how lovely it was on 9/11 in 2001, and how that day fell apart into terror and dread.

It’s amazing to me how New York City has come back and how people have carried on with their lives.  New Yorkers (and New Jerseyites, for many of them were killed that day) are tough. 

The reading of the names still makes me cry, and the footage of the attacks is still horrifying.  But every day people commute to the city to work, and millions of others live there.  The Freedom Tower looms over lower Manhattan.  Downtown businesses came back.  Children have been born who will have no personal memory of what happened.  Tourists come and go in their hordes.  At least now they have a memorial to look at instead of a gaping hole.

“Never forget” is the motto you see at many fire stations and police stations, throughout the tri-state area, where first responders poured into the city to help the New York City forces.  But I wonder, will the day come when the pain is not remembered?  At least, will the day come when a blue September sky doesn’t make us uneasy?

 

 

 

September 11: Remember to Love

On Friday I went to Trinity Church, on Broadway close to Wall Street, to hear a choral performance.  Trinity had choirs singing all day on September 9, either at Trinity Church or at St. Paul’s Chapel, which was a place of refuge and rest for first responders.  The church called the event “Remember to Love:  A Choral Blessing,” and invited choirs from Boston, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania to perform, as well as their own choirs and others from New York City.  http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/  (There are special services today, Sept. 11, as well).

The Copley Singers from Boston performed at 3 p.m.  The program included  Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei, spirituals, and a part of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem, among other pieces.  Hearing their harmonies and the clarity of sound in the church filled with tourists, people who worked on Wall Street, and those who came just for the concert united us all in remembrance.

It ended with one I had never heard before, “Song of Athene,” by John Taverner.  I was moved by it.  I’m sharing the lyrics as they were printed in the program.  It sums up what I think we all hope for those who perished.

Song of Athene, by John Taverner

May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

Remember me, O Lord, when you come into your kingdom.

Give rest, O Lord, to your handmaid, who has fallen asleep.

The Choir of Saints have found the well-spring of life and door of Paradise.

Life:  A shadow and a dream.  Weeping at the grave creates the song:

Alleluia.  Come, enjoy rewards and crowns I have prepared for you.