" Rainbow Promise"
- At the Desert Retreat House -
We are on our way back home to the desert, but we decided to make one last stop back East. So I am writing today's blog post from a hotel room looking directly at the sight of one of the greatest tragedies in American history- September 11, 2001, when terrorist planes were flown into the Twin Towers.
As I sit in my hotel room here in New York and look onto the "World Trade Center" sight, I am flooded with vivid memories of that fateful September day, buildings on fire and collapsing to the earth, so many poor souls jumping to their deaths, such horrific destruction and devastation.
But the sight I gaze upon today has been totally renewed and restored- a touching museum and park have been constructed so that the world might always remember the events and the people of 9/11. And another tower has been erected on the sight- it looks like a phoenix rising up out of the ashes, the tallest building in the United States.
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect or how I would feel going to New York to stand on the sacred ground of the World Trade Center. Back on that day in 2001 I was filled with an overwhelming sense of deep sorrow, my mind was clouded with anger at such rampant destruction, and I half thought that a visit to the World Trade Center sight might dredge up some of those old feelings. But actually the opposite happened.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 many people made their way to the destroyed buildings and wrote messages, leaving them on walls and fences surrounding the smoldering pile of rubble. One of those messages written back then proclaimed:
Evil never wins!
That message has now been preserved and is enshrined in the new 9/11 memorial, and this is exactly how I feel as I look out today at the rebuilt, renewed and restored sight of what was once utter chaos. Evil never wins, you can't kill love.
I recall those last words of so many of the victims who were killed on that horrible day in September. As terrorist planes were heading into the buildings, wives and husbands, children and parents who were just about to die were "saying goodbye" to their loved ones on the ground - many of those calls have been preserved for posterity. In almost every single instance, just at the threshold of death, parting words took on the form of tender pledges of undying love:
I love you so very much.
Tell the kids how much I love them.
I will love you forever, you will always be in my heart.
Such a vivid reminder that no matter how hard people may try, you can't kill love. You can fly airplanes into buildings collapsing them to the ground; you can incinerate bodies and reduce them into ash, but you can't kill love. In the end love rises up and reaches for the sky.
Evil never wins!
Such a powerful thought as we come to the end of a year so filled with violence and destruction. What a gift it is to be here at the World Trade Center on this day.