Ground Hero

  _8115486smallOn 12/10/01 I went to the Irish Arts center in New York, to see the  documentary on Fr.. Mychal. I was impressed, it also got me choked up,  it was quite moving. I couldn't go home though when the film was over.  Not before taking a trip to the site. I have been in the city many times since 9/11/01 but I have avoided going down there. I didn't want to  seem like a gawker or something. Well I needed to go this night.

As I approached I met some of NY's finest, I chatted with them for a  moment and wished them a Merry Christmas, it might have been my need to  decompress as I approached the site. Decompress, from the world where we get by, to the place which we are trying (maybe subconsciously) to  forget or avoid. The little delays as I walked from Foley Square towards the site, were little resting points to prepare me for what I was about to see. What I didn't know then was, there is no preparation for what  you see down there.

8x10I took a wrong turn, well it was what was meant to be, I ended up in  front of the church where the Firefighter heroes had brought Fr. Mychal, after he died. St. Peters is a huge building looking more like the  Public library then a church. A fortress in size. A safe place for  anyone who was trying to get away from the devastation on 9/11. I looked up, saw the name on the granite and stopped to awe at the structure.  Then, pictured what that area must have been like on 9/11. I said a  little prayer, then moved on to Broadway. Walking along I noticed there  were many people there and they were strangely quite, except for the  construction noise. I was about a block away from the site. The smell in the air was arid. It smelled like wires burning. The smoke still rises  from that place. It's like all the souls of all the loved ones passed,  moving in a slow line into heaven.┬ 

It began to rain a light  mist. To me it was like a baptism into reality as I walked the 4 blocks  of the rubble. 16 acres of rubble. It is a moving and life changing  experience to see the walls of good wishes and prayers from thousands of people, from all over the world who share in our grief. to see the site of the atrocity is a must for anyone who can make it.

a_WTCaftermathcloseI saw the buildings fall in my mind as I listened to the radio on 9/11  while going to get my daughter out of school. Who knew that day when it  would end. I wanted to be with my daughter when this was going on. For  me and her. This event taught me again what is important in life. The  visit to the site was like a wax seal on my heart to ice it into my  memory forever. Fr. Mychal would have wanted us to forgive. I am sorry  to say it is imposable for me to do that. I have learned in life two  things best said in the Movie Rudy "1. There is a God and 2. I am not  him." Well I will leave it in Gods hands to forgive. I will never forget or let anyone else forget what took the life of the greatest man I ever knew and thousands of other fine people. In the words of George Bush  today "Everyone who┬  died was the most important person to someone in  life." Well my heart goes out to all those special people who lost their most important person on 9/11.

a_firemen-flag-091201I will end this with the words of our National Anthem, the last verse, which are rarely heard:

Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto - "In God is our trust,"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Michael P. Randazzo 12/11/2001