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Saturday, May 17, 2008

It’s 6:03 Saturday evening... I am sitting at my desk with the windows open, creating an illustration for a client and I hear a pipe organ very clearly in the distance playing God Bless America.  How random, yet really beautiful.

Earlier today I was cleaning up some old files and came across the picture above that I took when I was at ground zero less than 2 weeks after 911.  That photo has always moved me. 
I had to be there for my job, the week after the attacks.  It was a haunting, emotional experience.  I stayed in mid-town and worked at the studios there, but finally after over a week stay I ventured closer to ground zero.  Not sure if I could handle actually getting any closer...  even in midtown, there was dust everywhere, the city as a whole was altered and everywhere you turned you could see the effects.  One night before dinner in little italy, my friend persuaded me to go and light candles there.  I am glad I did.  How quickly we forget.
Well, sitting here listening to the pipe organ playing God Bless America made me think of that picture.  I took it about 1-2 blocks away from the site on the side of a building.  The blocks surrounding ground zero were covered with notes, pictures, messages as far as you could reach up the sides of buildings and gates.  Seeing that 1st hand was altering.  Such great sadness and humanness.  The worst were the photos of faces on the missing posters that were posted everywhere.  So many people came within a week and touched that place of grief and terror, placing prayers and messages of hope and courage.  That part was beautiful.  Which is why I took the picture above.  It was compromised of thousands of signatures, thoughts and prayers.

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