Devin Stevens goes to New York Ch. 4: “The Names in Black”

I think it was around Monday when me, my mother, and brother went to the 9/11 Memorial in Manhattan. The weather was as chilly as ever, crowds stuck to the alleys and walls, and the horns blared loud. We walked and walked and walked, just to make it to one place. There was this tall skyscraper building that pointed to the grey sky; I had been too enamored with what was around me on the ground to notice its bright point. It looked like a kind of radio tower, one of those singular signals they use to send communications over and through air waves. Come to find out, it is the One World Trade Center. Very interesting name. The buildings that once stood in Ground Zero were known as “the World Trade Center” or “the Twin Towers.” Having its name shifted to “One World” seems to imply that the world was divided before that horrible day about 14 years ago, that the world did not cooperate mutually. But then, why trade when there is no genuine cooperation? Interesting indeed. It is as though a group of socialists or egalitarians came together and wanted to send America a message: the world is now unified at last, under a common goal, though it is very difficult to decipher what that goal is. It makes me feel as if politics is trying to take horror and transform it into a utopian ideal. But why? I believe in mourning and moving on. Not a shaky sense of justice.

But then again… a voice for justice screamed in me, somewhat, while I stood admist all the people gathered on Ground Zero. We were all grouped around these two very wide square holes in the ground that marked where the two towers once stood before those planes came and took them away. Fresh water flowed down the sides of the holes, like they were two mini dams. You could only see so far into the ground until darkness prevailed. If there is ever a place in this country that can symbolize the emotions surrounding it, it was this place. Waters of hope flowing through an empty heart. That’s what it is when you gather to remember the senseless.

There were names embedded on the edges of the holes, like the names you can find on an Army Memorial. The names of all those who died on September the 11th. I honestly didn’t know what to think when I looked at them. A part of me felt like I needed to stand and look for fifteen minutes at least, and try to absorb the magnitude of the area and what it meant. Could I really do that? I doubt it. But I tried. There is this odd shaped building next to the holes, a kind of zig zag looking trailer fashioned from a someone with a sense of abstract art. Apparently it was a building preserved after the attacks. Me and my family stood there for about 30 minutes. I don’t believe we took pictures.

I know, my friends. I know of all the theories about 9/11, basically. And I honestly don’t know. But suppose that the reason those 3,000 are gone is due to something we have not took care of yet, like, say, our own government, which is becoming increasingly under criticism these days? Though Bin Laden is supposedly dead, the war on Terror is just as fresh today as ever. So then, I suppose the world is still in progress in fighting the villains? I just don’t know. All I felt then was, if the reason for their deaths is closer to home, then why in heaven’s name do we not know FOR SURE? Should there have been more anger and action more than tears and silence? Maybe.  I was challenging my own moral fibre as much as America, which is far weaker than a a steel tower.

But in the meantime, we stood there, taking it all in. I touched some of the names, fantasizing that I could communicate with the spirits of those names if I tried hard enough. It was one of those moments in life where I wish I really could be Batman.

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