Rising from the Ruins | Rockport Writer Remembers Friend Who Died in 9/11
I was only one when 9/11 happened, but its effects are felt by even some of the youngest generations. 9/11 is personal to me because one of my cousins was a New York police officer and was cleaning up after the attacks. I recently visited the memorial in New York City and it is a beautiful sight. But it is also very chilling to see thousands upon thousands of names of people whom you didn’t know but somebody did.
My mother lost a friend in the 9/11 attacks. Her name was Flo. But she wasn’t just Flo, she was Disco Flo. Disco Flo could break the ice anywhere and with anyone. Disco Flo worked in the South Tower and her specialty was marine insurance. She was a loving sister, daughter and aunt. Flo was also a fabulous friend. Even though I never knew Flo, I feel connected to her. I also feel like she’s not gone.
When you first reach the memorial, you have to go through an almost endless line of security checkpoints. But it’s all worth it once you get inside the memorial. Inside the memorial, the air is solemn. The two famous pools are where the World Trade Center used to be. The pools are only a couple yards apart. Along the edge to one side is a bank of touch-screen computers in which people can look up names and find which pool they are at and where.
To even imagine what those people’s last moments were like is chilling. But now we are rebuilding. We are rising from the ashes. Some people see those new buildings as replacements, mere reproductions set in place of the old, but I see them as much more. I see them as tributes, to tell those people they are not forgotten. And if you walk a little farther from some awnings, there is a tree chained up. No plaque marks it, although there should be one. No sign advises visitors of its significance. This is the survivor tree. This tree, however close it was to the Trade Center, survived the attacks. You see, I believe this tree is not just chained up to hold it up. I believe this tree is kept in chains to also hold the spirits of those who died. I believe that as long as that tree stands, the memory of the victims will stand too.
Joe Ezersky is in the 7th grade at Lewis F. Mayer Middle School in Fairview Park. He is a Boy Scout with Troop 421 and is a member of the NEON Swim Team. He also attends St. Augustine Catholic Church in Tremont that serves many including the deaf and blind communities and provides many meals and services to the homeless.