As the anniversary of the infamous attack on the World Trade Center Complex in New York nears, I still get goose bumps remembering how I felt while staring at the Memorial’s two massive reflecting pools in a visit to New York last month.
To me, it was like peering deep into the naked, vulnerable, wounded yet proud American soul. The two enormous waterfalls and reflecting pool built on the site of the Twin Tower have cascading water emptying into dark space, a void space.
The sound of the cascading water seems to muffle the noise of a busy New York traffic and even the wheeling, dealing and trading in nearby Wall Street. Staring into that void gives one the eerie feeling that the three thousand people killed in the September 11, 2001 are still around, their restless souls still seeking meaning for their tragic and untimely deaths when two jumbo jets slammed into the Twin Tower.
Still, as designed, the pools and new buildings rising in the ground of what used to be known as the World Trade Center Complex convey hope and unity against tragedy. It is ironical that the biggest and deadliest attack in the heart of the American soil – which essentially exposed the weakness and vulnerability of this World Superpower – also rallied its sometime divided people into a common cause of grief and unity to save the American Motherland.
It is ironical that the most brazen attack in the heart of the World’s Supercop also got the whole world rallying to its side. Touching the names of the 2,983 men, women, and children that are inscribed into bronze parapets surrounding the twin Memorial pools makes one realize that the victims are all one with us as human victims and their pain is our pain and lost our lost.
The tragedy is no longer an American tragedy; it is a world tragedy. A human tragedy because all those who perished are – like of all us – human beings with children, parents, husbands, wives and friends mourning for each and every one of them. Their deaths also mean shattered dreams for themselves and those they left behind.
Their deaths become a an irreplaceable void in the lives of loved ones they left behind. For all it's great wealth and power, Super-Cop America cannot is helpless to fill that void.
In this modern age when information and technology are becoming more powerful than guns and bombs, bloody terroristic acts are becoming primitive and crude mode of advancing one's cause. Why blow up buildings and kill innocent people when few clicks of a computer mouse are enough to bring nations -- if not the whole world -- into chaos?
It seems that although the 9-11 tragedy had exposed the American defense weaknesses and deeply hurt its people, the terrorist attack only ultimately made America stronger.
Where terrorists tried to create a burial ground for the American Dream, Americans turned it into a sacred ground for martyrs from where they draw strength as a nation. Where terrorist tried to create a place of great pain; Americans turned it into a shrine for martyrs for democracy that people from all over the world converge to pay homage to the 2,983 lives sacrificed in the altar of democracy.
Truly, a nation’s soul is purified by the blood of its martyrs.