How can it be already 9 years? How can it be only one short year until a decade has passed? Although the years have flown by, I am still mute in the memory of this terrible, terrible tragedy for the U.S. and indeed for the entire world.
On this 9th anniversary of 9/11 I had to go to work. I work in a public library in Massachusetts and manage the library’s website. I thought about posting about 9/11 on it but instead was wrapped up in the minutia of daily work moments and ended up posting about the state’s primary election in 2 short days, feeling that we have an obligation to serve the voter’s information needs as much as their reading, learning and other needs. Yet perhaps most of all I didn’t do it because I cowered with a sense of overwhelming incapacity in how to pay tribute with due dignity and respect.
Because my day did not include taking an active part in 9/11 memorial observances, I am tremendously grateful that today CBS New York kindly placed on the Web their video footage of the ceremony held at the Reflecting Pool at Ground Zero. Broken up into 5 segments, the footage allows one to experience the entire observance at Ground Zero. I am always especially moved by the flowers and flower petals offered in the reflecting pool and felt it was vitally important to recite aloud the names of those who lost their lives on that day.
The political leaders who attended offered words of remembrance and observance drawing upon the poetic and literary wealth of many famous poets and writers, mostly, but not all American. Mayor Bloomberg quoted Archibald MacLeish, Matthew Shenoda, Willa Cather and Dana Gioia. Vice President Joe Biden quoted Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. New York Governor David Paterson quoted Sri Chinmoy. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie quoted Langston Hughes. Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani quoted Tennyson. Former New York Governor George Pataki quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson.
I am touched that Sri Chinmoy’s quotes on hope were included in the ceremony. I have derived tremendous inspiration from his writings in my years as a meditation student of his teachings. Here is a video montage of footage from this year’s ceremony that includes Sri Chinmoy’s following words on hope:
Knows no fear.
Hope dares to blossom
Even inside the abysmal abyss.
Hope secretly feeds