Saturday, September 11, 2010

We Will Never Forget

Just days before the recovery effort was declared finished, my family and I had the opportunity to visit Ground Zero.  The experience is still raw in my mind.  That great scar in the earth had left another one in my heart. 

I will never forget standing on the viewing platform that cold cloudy day.  The hundreds of people gathered there, were silent as they walked up the ramps and stood together--it was eerily quiet.  As though the bare wood was covered with a thick layer of dust.  As you know New York City never rests--it is like the ceaseless roar of a great ocean.  But there, sound was somehow dampened.

My son and husband stood close, as my daughters and I closed our eyes and began to sing Amazing Grace in three-part harmony.  Some of the people in the crowd joined in.

Then as we sang the words, "bright shining as the sun..."  Something incredible happened.  There was a sudden instantaneous break in those cold, dark clouds--a brilliant beam of sunlight burst through, beaming down, sweeping over the huge American Flag, covering Ground Zero where so many lost their lives.  Then a gasp from the crowd as brightness was touching our faces, embracing the hundreds on the viewing platform with dazzling warmth. 

As we finished, our little family wrapped our arms around each other, heads bowed and we wept. I don't know how long we stood  there, tears slipping down our cheeks--but when we lifted our faces, we were alone.  The hundreds of people standing with us had moved away so softly we hadn't realized they had gone.

Though each group was only allowed 15 minutes, the guards told us to stay as long as we wished.  And we did--praying for all the families who's loved ones had died there, for our nation and for the world.

That day touched me and my family in a way I cannot even put into words.  What a blessing it was to feel--literally--the warmth of God's grace.  Suffice it to say none of us will ever forget 9/11, or the people who died that day in the World Trade Center.

For other heart-felt thoughts please visit Bev at Pink Saturday.


Jacalyn @ said...

How amazing! I too have been to ground zero and it is just so surreal!

Happy PS,

Patty said...

It's a day none of us will ever forget.

Anonymous said...

Beth, reading about your experience at Ground Zero gave me goosebumps ... Indeed 911 is a day we will and should NEVER forget. Though it was nine years ago, it feels like one. I appreciate your post ... it is not only of great importance to commemorate the loss of so many lives, survivors, heroes, and those left behind in the wake of such utter devastation, but reminders are necessary to keep fresh the evil that lingers ...

Unknown said...

Wonderful post. Beautiful. Moving. Thank you for sharing this amazing moment of grace. And thank you Paula for "reminders are necessary to keep fresh the evil that lingers..."

Mary said...

Incredible post, Beth. Thank you.

Sarsaparilla said...

What a beautiful post! I can almost hear you and your daughter singing Amazing Grace. Thanks so much for sharing.

Linda at the Paper Collector led me to your blog. I'm so glad she did!