thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, November 25


(Note: Click on links for more pictures)

Today we visited Ground Zero (GZ) here in Manhattan. It was about a 20 minute walk from our hotel. I really had no idea what to expect besides a giant hole in ground in the middle of Manhattan.

GZ is quite a place. What amazed me was how many of the surrounding buildings around GZ are still badly damaged and under repair. It’s been just a little over 2 years since 9/11 and the physical after effects still seem very fresh.

In a way, I was expecting to be overcome by sad, reflective emotions. But surprisingly, I was mostly taken back by the obvious unified spirit that took hold of the people of NYC and beyond after the tragic events of that sad day. This city pushed through 9/11 and the months following by putting each other first and seeing to it that morale and support for relief workers and survivors remained strong.

After our visit to Ground Zero we visited St. Paul’s Church (The Parish of Trinity Church) just around the block of where the World Trade Towers stood. The chapel was completed in 1766 and is considered the “oldest public building in continuous use on the island of Manhattan and the only remaining colonial church”. George Washington worshipped at St. Paul’s for almost two years during the time that New York was the capital of the United States.

After the terrorist attacks on 9/11, the chapel served as a “place of rest and refuge for recovery workers.” After the collapse of the Towers, St. Paul’s chapel became known as “the little chapel that stood”. Just looking at the location of the chapel, it’s amazing that the church remained unscathed by the collapse of the Towers.

On display in the church are various items related to 9/11: pictures of the victims, banners and signs showing support of the relief workers and families, and videos and images of the days following the attacks. It’s hard to explain the feeling of sitting in the same pews where just a little over 24 months ago, firefighters, victim’s family members, etc… slept and rested.

Quite a day in NYC. Here’s our itinerary for tomorrow:

Dean & Deluca 9:00am – 10:00am
Empire State Building 10:30am – 12:00pm
NY Public Library 12:30pm – 1:30pm
Tiffany’s & Co. 2:30pm – 3:00pm
Central Park 3:00pm – 4:30pm
Laguardia to Chicago 5:45pm