September 11, 2012


The two best pictures I've taken are technically pretty bad. They were snapped on a three megapixel Sony camera that now belongs to my daughter. The colors aren't good, the image is grainy and it's poorly composed. But they were taken in New York City not long after 9-11.

They were taken inside St. Paul's, an Episcopal chapel located feet from Ground Zero. This was where emergency workers first brought the injured. Firemen and paramedics slept here for weeks. It remained a chapel but, in a matter of minutes, it became a hospital, a morgue and a hotel. Today it houses many of the things left behind - pictures of the workers and the missing, patches from uniforms of the hundreds of emergency teams who came to help from every corner of the country, banners made by schoolchildren showing support. The pews are forever scuffed, dented and grooved by the gurneys that were laid down upon them. Musicians played thoughout the day, even four years later.

Buildings are buildings. As much as we like to attribute a certain amount of character to them, they're buildings. They stand, they serve a purpose. And sometimes they fall. But people, well, people dream, feel, love, laugh, cry, try, fail and, most importantly, hope. In the cab ride to Ground Zero, I tried to prepare myself for the worst. But when we arrived, I saw only a construction site. A big hole in the ground. When I entered St. Paul's, though, I saw the tragedy, the real effect, the true cost. Remember those people.

Posted by Chris at September 11, 2012 7:27 AM

You captured St. Paul's so perfectly...felt the same when I visited the area in 2003...was a construction site by then. We headed over to St. Paul's and wow, the emotion of that day was (and still is) contained within that building. The only way I know to describe it was beautiful...that this small chapel stood for all the awful that happened that day but also all the good. And we visited again in 2011 with our daughter and it is still a place that you can go to and remember, regardless of your faith, you can go and feel arms wrap you in safety and warmth.

I remember.

Posted by: cyndy at September 11, 2012 8:49 AM

Beautiful post, Chris. One of your best. You should link it on Facebook.

Posted by: Mindy at September 11, 2012 2:00 PM