Saturday, April 20, 2013


As we arrived in Newark EARLY this morning on our deadhead flight from Houston, we made that last banking turn onto our final approach...the approach that can send chills up your spine no matter how many times you've seen it. We leveled out of that right-hand maneuver to follow the Hudson River to our landing at Newark. New Jersey passes on the right side of the aircraft and the unmistakable "profile" of Manhattan appears on the left.

From seat 21A, the landmarks become clear through darkness and the late-spring drizzle: the Chrysler Building, the Empire State Building, then a series of lower, clustered skyscrapers. Descending, proceeding further down the island into lower Manhattan, an unrealistic anticipation rises at the prospect of seeing the monumental twin towers of the World Trade Center. Even though they stand now only in memory, the memory is so profound, so clear!

Suddenly, a spear of preternatural white brightness pierces the darkness, pointing upward. The sentinel that is Freedom Tower stands guard over what is essentially a memorial to the loss of America's innocence, its new-age LCD lighting distinguishing it in the dark as its unique height and form distinguish it in the light.

On September 11, 2001, America lost the innocence of youth. Collectively, we suffered the same right of passage that each of us must individually when we discover that we are mortal, that we can be harmed, damaged, killed. It is the ultimate milestone and, once passed, changes forever the way we see ourselves, each other and the world.

In memory of all who must perish so that those who remain behind MIGHT LEARN from their loss...

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