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Ground Zero: Visit at Your Own Risk

Essay By: Bill Rayburn
Memoir



A visit to New York City proves sobering enough to make me drink. (approx. 250 words)


Submitted:Apr 4, 2012    Reads: 21    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


Ground Zero - New York City

A few summers ago, on a trip to New York (I lived in North Jersey from 1990-1996), I went to Ground Zero. On the rather erratic, almost dangerous cab ride down to the site, I was struggling with how I was going to handle being there. I was unsure how I'd respond. It was approaching the 5 year anniversary of the tragedy. I was quite moved, as most were, when it occurred; but I wondered if, like with most things, time had healed the wounds.

It hasn't.

It was overwhelmingly emotional. Climbing out of the cab, I was presented with hundreds of people milling about. If you didn't know what had happened here, you'd just think it was an enormous construction site. I had brought a camera, a stupid, touristy thing to do. People were taking pictures, standing under the poignant timeline the city had erected that took you through the chain of events on 9/11/01. I put my camera away. I had the sudden need to be alone. I needed to absorb all this away from the commotion and the tourists. I felt the atmosphere was insulting to the memory of the dead. I backed away and found a bench and sat for a while, remembering how depressed the event had made me. The feelings returned. I don't think I will ever go back there, at least not intentionally. It's not something I want to relive ever again.

Man's inhumanity to man.

And so it goes.





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