September 11, Eleven years

Anniversary's of this kind are tricky, on the one hand we must reach into our collective and personal grief to remember the tragedy, the loss, the deep shattering and on the other hand, how to balance the knowledge of our resiliency and not eclipse the memory?

As I walked through the streets of my home, my city, for the days months and years after 9/11, I saw what was obviously physically missing, those towers that always pointed me "downtown" and then when was it that I stopped looking for the reference and couldn't remember exactly where they stood in the skyline? Singing in the subway was where I could sense what was missing within each of us. When was it that I could feel by watching commuters body language and my own, that we were over the shock, the loss, the intense sense of horror? I can't remember, it just slowly evolved into a new being. 

Now I look to the sky and watch floor upon floor growing up from the scared land, what was left of the World Trade Towers. Honestly it's strange to see the buildings stretching now taller than the Empire State building. Ground Zero. Ground Rebirth. I can never forget those days after 9/11, how our world changed.

As I do every year I remember and I weep.  

Today I remember for the families who lost lost loved ones, for the firefighters, police and emergency workers who lost their lives. To those who volunteered to help rescue and recover. For the workers who spent months carting away the debris at risk to their own health and who may have also lost their lives, or be forever disabled. To the health care workers who under such duress worked endlessly and who continue to help and heal to this day. To our soldiers and National Guard who have fought two wars directly related to the event of September 11, 2001, including the countless innocent lives lost overseas as a result of those wars. 

Today I remember we can rebuild, we can love and sing again. I only began singing in the NYC Subway system in 1999, I know that the events of September 11, 2001 is reason enough why I continue to do so to this day. I have hope for our future where we encourage education for all people, re-imagine our financial systems, work tirelessly towards a more energy efficient and socially conscious society. I dream this new century moves more towards a place of collective peace and love. I came into this world a dreamer and I continue to dream that dreams do become reality.

I remember.

some of my previous years postings:

In Union Square in the underground corridor above N/R line on the west wall, are all the names of those who perished. Label stickers, a memorial art installation by John Lin, stuck onto the subway tile, some names are fading. You could miss it if you're not paying attention. In this clip I took my niece Sara to walk the corridor.  She was 9 at the time of the tragedy living in NJ and like us all, forever changed by the event. Every time I perform in Union Square, I point out to people as they rush on by, this moving simple tribute. A quiet reflection of the gravity and loss, slowly fading from the finger tips that brush over the names.


music performed and written by Cathy Grier