As we honor the bravery and the memory of the innocent lives lost and the countless sacrifices made by those who helped in the wake of the fateful September 11 attacks, I wanted to share with you my experience in New York City only months after the attacks. 

In early 2001, my mother made plans to take my sister and me on a Christmas trip to NYC.  We went in December- in spite of the uncertainty felt throughout our country.  At that moment, New York City was the friendliest place on earth.  The cab drivers thanked us (profusely) for coming to “their city”.  The restaurants graciously welcomed us and didn’t rush us out to seat the next table.  People even stopped and offered to take photos of us all together.

 We paid our respects at Ground Zero.  The atmosphere was so quiet and so reverent.  My sister snapped this photo of me (in tan coat) as I read some of the thousands of messages that were left at the site.

A sight that I will always hold in my heart- as we watched the firemen go in and out of their “station” next to the mangled steel.  The magnitude of it all was so much to comprehend, and I feel for those who worked it every day.  The simple image of a bike untouched and then memorialized has always stuck in my mind…

Sadly, there were several of those.

This is as close as you could get to the Statue of Liberty…but just seeing it in the distance had more meaning for me that day than ever before.  A beautiful vision, symbol, and reminder of our liberties and history.

This photo summed up the feel of the entire trip.

Wishing peace and blessings to all.

last image via brightbazaar