Revisiting 9/11 after 10 years

By Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP on 12-09-2011

It’s the 10th anniversary of that dreadful
day that shook the entire world – the day popularly known as 9/11, some dreaded
terrorists attacked on the World Trade Centre, New York. On September 11, 2011,
a newly constructed memorial was dedicated to the memory of those who lost
their lives and those who responded with courage to save lives that day. At the
memorial site, the names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001
and February 26, 1993 terrorist attacks are inscribed on bronze panels lining
two pools. Waterfalls cascade down all four sides of each pool, creating a
special place for remembrance and reflection. An eight-acre landscaped Memorial
Plaza filled with more than 300 oak trees creates a contemplative space
separate from the sights and sounds of the surrounding city. The Memorial
Museum is a large pavilion with a glass atrium which contains artifacts from
the steel facade of the original WTC. The museum will be opened to public in
2012.  A new WTC Transportation Hub is
being constructed and will become operational later.

Until ten years ago, when the twin-towers stood high
among the concrete jungle of Manhattan, it was matchless in majesty and glory. But
in a few moments' time, it was reduced to 'ground zero'. The newly opened
memorial is a solemn reminder of the events of 9/11 as well as the fact that
the whole world is united in fighting the menace of terrorism. The ground zero
had become synonymous with a sense of powerlessness in the face of evil. The
vacuum of fear, insecurity and helplessness in the minds and hearts of people
can never be filled again to its former measure. The ground zero reminded us of
the frailty of everything that humans build in this world along with a sense of
hopelessness and insecurity that has gripped the world. 

The memorial reminds us that even in the midst of
paralysing fear, utter helplessness, total insecurity and extreme
vulnerability, we find signs of hope and belief in a higher power called God –
the source of all solace, shelter and security. The memorial also is a glowing
tribute to those who responded with courage to save lives while risking their
own. Thus it cascades humanity’s unshakable faith in love, life and goodness,
as against hatred, death and bigotry.

Collen Kelly, the bereaved sister of Billy Kelly who was
one of the victims of WTC that day, describes the outcome: “I still believe
that good will overcome, that goodness will overcome, and that my world view
has not been shattered. There were too many good things that happened that day,
and all the days afterwards – the thousands and thousands and thousands of acts
of kindness. If anything, I am more firm in my belief in God; more firm in my
belief in family; more firm in my belief that there is an overwhelming goodness
in the world, and that goodness will overcome”.”Those
who believe in God know that evil and death do not have the final say.”  Pope
John Paul II 

About The Author

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP

Fr. Joe Eruppakkatt SSP is a Catholic priest of the Society of St Paul. He has been engaged in media activities for several years as General Editor of ST PAULS Mumbai. He believes in God's gift of beauty and goodness in every human being, in nature and in every religious tradition, and shares his views and opinions with others.