New York Day 7

IMG_6110Just as it’s impossible to think of Hiroshima without referencing the atomic bomb blast of August 6th 1945, it’s impossible to be in New York and not acknowledge September 11th 2001.

My first trip to the city was in 1997 and it was on this day, June 8th, that I was one of 50,000 music fans at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in NYC.

I didn’t stay long as Sonic Youth were onstage when I arrived and rather than indulge the crowd with any of the songs from their fantastic album Goo, they chose instead to indulge themselves with an hour or so of mindless feedback.

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So I find myself in New York City once again on June 8th, 17 years later, walking around the site where the Twin Towers fell in 2001.

The 911 Memorial is difficult to sum up. At each of the two tower sites are waterfalls than cascade down walls that fit around the footprint where the buildings sat. I remember that night (in Australia it was late evening when the planes first hit), as my friend Paul woke me from sleep and urged me to turn on the TV. “Why?” I said? “Because the world is ending” he replied. “Which channel?” I said. “Every channel” said Paul.

I watched transfixed, dumbstruck, unable to make sense of the pictures on my TV.

Now, as the 13th anniversary of September 11th, 2001 approaches, nothing can make me comprehend what happened on that day.

Being here as tourists mill about and security guards keep watchful eyes every few paces, these water features go some way to recognising that something of enormous significance happened here.

After some reflection at the site we wander towards Wall St. The scene of many other iconic images from our screens, the NYSE seems much smaller in the flesh.

We catch the subway home and spend the afternoon quietly before heading out again to let our daughter stretch her legs at one of the many water parks that dot the city fringe.

Early to bed, it’s been a somewhat sombre day.

So I’ll leave you with this. make of it what you will…

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