No matter where you are in the surrounding boroughs, as long
as you have a good enough view of Manhattan, you
should be able to see the memorial lights of the Twin Towers
this weekend. Bright powerful lights, placed parallel to each other, aiming
their luminance skyward so that anyone passing around the City on the highways
can look and see those lights and remember what happened on Tuesday, September
I was immediately sent back.
I was on my way to work and had just finished looking at the
time (8:44 AM according to my clock), listening to NPR and suddenly one of the
reporters started saying something about a reported accident with one of the
Towers. Something about a plane crashing and then the radio station cut off. I
skimmed around to other stations—there was lots of static from a couple of the
channels I tried. Finally I got on one that was reporting about the accident.
When I got into work no one really knew about it. I told the
few that were there and managed to set my radio up to pick up a signal and get
the report. When the second plane hit the Tower I felt a lump in my throat and
ran out into the hallway telling people: “A second plane! This isn’t an
I think a group of us ran down to the first floor to see
what was going on via television. Fear ran high as we saw what happened
in DC and heard about other planes.I remembered that my friend worked
at the Twin
Towers and another friend of mine worked at the Merrill Lynch building
next door. They made it fine. My buddy who should’ve been at work
parking and wound up missing his train. My other buddy couldn’t sleep
next few months remembering the horror of people leaping to their
As it is, I can still remember this iodine-like smell that hovered over Brooklyn, Queens and even a bit of Nassau county.
And tonight (as yesterday and tomorrow), those lights blaze into the sky making ground
zero as brilliant as day. There are visitors around the Towers tonight, many
from all over the world, but there are several there that are doubled over
remembering a loved one, openly weeping, never forgetting. The lights are up
but some of these people might go back there all the time by looking at a
picture of their lost loved one.
I can’t help thinking about our
memorial. The horror of death, painful on so many levels, was inflicted
upon the Son of Man in a most wicked way. He was pinned to the tree and scorned by men and called
out to the Father “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me?” This Jesus who
died left us a way to remember Him as He broke the bread and passed the cup
saying “Do this in remembrance of Me.”
Paul would remind us that as often as we drink that cup and take that
bread we proclaim His death until He returns.
Every Sunday we break that bread and drink from that cup and
the horror of His death is proclaimed, a blazing memorial in the imagery of
those simple elements. But we don’t do it as a funeral service but looking
towards His imminent return, performing this action to keep His death and
resurrection vivid in our minds and hearts. This we proclaim: The Lord
died, but now He lives and He will return.
So many died on that day and I can’t even bear to think
about the amount of people who closed their eyes to this world to only
in Hell. God help us to preach the Word and do it with the earnest
that He might return at any moment. Let us proclaim His death in the
taking of the symbols and in our relationships with other people.