Sunday, September 11, 2011
I hope the families of the victims of 9/11 are pleased with the way the World Trade Center monument, Gravity's Rainbow, turned out. The more I see it, the more I like it. I think the choice of waterfalls was inspired, and I predict this memorial will become as cherished as the Vietnam memorial is today. I am having a harder time appreciating the Pentagon and the Shanksville memorials through the medium of television, although I think the flowers at the Pennsylvania site are also a wonderful choice and will bring peace and reconciliation to this scene of violent struggle and death. The twin fountains, however, I get in a New York minute. There are so many symbols in the water. The water represents the innocence of those who perished. It captures the communally remembered images of falling people and buildings, and stands for the tears of those left behind. The surface of the water ripples with a turbulence that signifies our rage at what was done to us, and yet it is the antithesis of the vivid fire that burned into our retinas that morning. The water is a sacrament, offering peace, solace, redemption and renewal both for individuals who mourn and for lower Manhattan. Water also is elemental, representing endurance and the connectedness of all things and all souls. The shapes of the fountains and the reflective nature of the surface and to the visitor's connection with the event being commemorated. I am sure the sound of the water adds another dimension similar to the way the sound in a seashell blends with your own pulse as you listen. This tribute was a long time coming, but it is wonderful they got it right. I look forward to my next visit to New York when I will be able to pay my respects firsthand.
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