My first stop on my world tour is New York city. It’s a place that I have come to know so well from all the films that I have seen that I almost feel like I have been here already! Big, burly and expressive; that’s how I predicted it would be. My first impressions were pretty much like that… The people are funny, open, and pretty honest! But the thing that I wanted to see most out there was the place where the World Trade Centre used to be. I remember going to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin 3 years ago, and I to this day, remember the lasting impression that the place had on me. Some memorials are done so well, that you can almost feel the pain of those that they are dedicated to. The one in Berlin for the holocaust victims is like that. It is so clever, the way you start on the outside of all the coffin-shaped monuments, as an onlooker or observer, looking at them from without. And then you walk through them and as you get further and further into the site, you end up swamped by them, engulfed by all these towering blocks of concrete. You seem to sink into the ground as the coffin like sculptures grow taller and taller, suffocating you, drowning you. I am not Jewish, but I felt the pain, the loss, the total gut-wrenching sorrow as the memorial showed itself to me.
In New York, I wanted to go to the memorial site for the World Trade Centre to understand more of the pain of that atrocity. I went to the memorial site today.
Never have I been so moved by a monument. The abyss, the water flowing down into the bowels of the earth, as souls departing, being sucked down the plughole, away, never to be seen again. I stood there for ages, tears streaming down my face as I imagined the torment that these people must have gone through on that fateful day. But the thing that I couldn’t get passed, as I stood there in my pool of sorrow, was how many people came up to me and hugged me, or spoke to me, or smiled at me compassionately. This site of sadness, was now breeding so much love and human kindness. In a way, all the gloom and bitterness that those bad men tried to create in destroying those buildings, is constantly being thwarted by the ever present, ever rejuvenating sense of human unity, camaraderie and human connection that has replaced those buildings.
I had to leave after about ¾ of an hour. I started to feel like a fraud, because I hadn’t actually lost anyone close to me that day and there were so obviously people there who were directly affected. I just kept apologising to people that I hadn’t lost anyone and their reactions were so sweet, people who’d lost loved ones, tried to comfort me.
Honestly, I can’t say how much you should go there if you get the chance. I feel that my sense of love for mankind has intensified. I just wasn’t expecting to get such hope from the place.
– Tina – you’d love it! x