The years following President John F. Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, everyone seemed to ask, “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” Decades later most people of that generation can still answer that with precisely the place and the time and what they were doing. I was crossing the Quadrangle at URI’s campus heading up a stairway to my next class after lunch, when a friend grabbed my arm and asked me if I knew. A nightmare of my baby boomer generation was about to take place.
On September 11, 2001, this generation was about to witness its own nightmare: the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, DC and a fourth plane, which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. The decade following 9/11 was identified by its own question. “Where were you on 9/11?” I was ironically on my way to New York City to celebrate my sister’s birthday with her and my nephew. I was to leave that day at noon. Instead the world stopped and I never went back to New York until this summer, 14 years later, to visit Ground Zero.
Ground Zero, August, 2015
I felt mixed emotions: anger, peace, comfort and immeasurable pain, like a wound that never heals. THASC artist Donna Cushman’s acrylic painting of “LIBERTY” was painted also in that fateful year, 2001. In her powerful depiction of the strong Liberty Bell and the determined glare in the eye of our bald eagle, she clearly reminds us of the strength that prevails in all of us, despite horror and tragedy, to carry on. The skies are blue again and her red banner speaks clearly that we are forever free.
Professor Constance M. Greiff wrote of the Liberty Bell that with its crack, it is “irreparably damaged…but perhaps that is part of its mystical appeal…” She goes on to say. “Like our democracy, it is fragile and imperfect, but it has weathered threats, and it has endured.”
I will be thinking of that freedom tomorrow together with all of you. Thank you, Donna.
Have a pleasant weekend. See you on Tuesday.
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When 911,happened, l was at work. I heard the news from a couple of customers,that were ln the store. That’s how l heard the news. Jacob my son,was not even born yet. He
Came 19 months after. Thank god,he was not
Born yet,to have to hear,such bad news. I never saw Ground Zero,lt must be really scary, to see,and sad. I don’t know if l every want to see it. It would just be to sad for me to
See. Oh,well, the queston ls did you every make lt to newyork to celebrate your sisters birthday,Maria,ir not? Well,Donna Cushman,keep up the good work,that painting,ls really beautiful. It shows that crack,and that eagle,up really good,lt looks like its the really think. Great job on the painting, keep making more memorable pictures,because we want to see more work like this,because its art pictures that will last a life time. Maria,intil next week, ciao,for now.
Dear Dana as I said in my blog I never made it to New York City until 14 years after 9/11and that was with my relatives who came from Sicilythis past August. No one was able to travel in the entire country and all flights were stopped. We are very fortunate to have our freedom as we watch again in horror the tragedies around the world. Thanks for caring.
Dear Maria, As always, I enjoyed reading your article and viewing the art. I loved Donna Cushman’s painting, Liberty, and the comments by Constance M. Greiff that you included. Thank you for another thoughtful article, Maria. Blessings of peace to all – R
Thank you, Rosaleen. I so appreciate your comment. Hope you got to read the previous blog “Father and Daughter”? I think it will really hit home. Stay with us at THASC.
Ciao Maria, Bel lavoro.
Ciao, Angelo. I hope Samy is practicing her English by reading my blogs. I told her I would sent them and I hope she is reading them. Thanks for writing.