Saturday, September 27, 2014

At September's End

While it is an event for which I wish its reason for being did not exist - a sentiment echoed by each person who is responsible for putting it on every year - this weekend the Missus and I shall be in Lower Manhattan for one of the most meaningful events, annually, on our calendar.  It is Tunnel to Towers Weekend.  Tomorrow morning, shortly after 9:30 or so, Jeff, Gidg, 2014 Rookie Brooke  and I, having ridden the ferry across the East River from Manhattan to Red Hook, Brooklyn, will join 15,000 or so other runners and walkers for the 2014 NYC Tunnel to Towers Run.  As she did last September, Margaret shall find a spot in the Battery Park Esplanade from which she can seamlessly join me on the course and shall run the final 3/4 of a mile or so with me.   As I understand it, the plan calls for Brooke's husband, Mike, to do likewise.  

We are this year - as we did last year - making a weekend of it in New York City.  While I have lived within an hour's drive of Manhattan for my entire life (save for the four years I spent shuffling as a Buffalo), I rarely go into the City.  I am not licensed to practice law in New York and can think of only two occasions - in twenty-plus years - on which I have crossed the river from the Jersey side for work.  This weekend's trip is likely the first one I have made into Manhattan since mid-December.  Margaret and I ventured in one Sunday a week or so before Christmas to see the tree in Rockefeller Center and to see the Rangers play (she had never been to a Rangers game at the Garden).  

I use this annual pilgrimage to mark not only time but also the progress being made at the site of the new World Trade Center.  Hopefully, at some point either today or tomorrow I shall remember to take my annual "Tommy Tourist" shot of the building so that I can, thereafter, compare how the building looks now against how it has looked in years past.  To date, the transformation from one year to the next has been nothing short of extraordinary - and inspiring...

New World Trade Center
T2T Weekend 2010

New World Trade Center 
T2T Weekend 2011

New World Trade Center 
T2T Weekend 2012

New World Trade Center
T2T Weekend 2013

I wish I could say that photographs of Yours truly taken annually on this occasion over each of the past four years would mirror the same graceful, beautiful growth as these photos.  I cannot.  Well, I could but no one, including Yours truly, would believe such an obvious lie.  

This afternoon, we shall spend a considerable amount of time on the hallowed ground of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.   While the Memorial has been open to the public for several years now - and is among one of the most starkly beautiful places I have ever been - the Museum has been open only since this past Spring.  Today shall be the first time that any of the six of us have been inside of its four walls.  I reasonably anticipate that the time spent there shall reduce most - if not all - of us to levels of almost inconsolable sadness.  I know, however, that it shall be time well spent.  It is a trip that I am very much looking forward to - again with the caveat that my preference would be that a need had never come into fruition to construct it.  

Unfortunately, it did.  Today, we shall be among those who pass through its doors to pay our respects to the lives and the memories of those who died on that terrible Tuesday morning thirteen Septembers ago and to honor the promise that each of us has made - or most certainly should make - to never forget them.  Today.  Every day.  Always. 



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