A couple of months ago I got lost in New York, somewhere close to Downtown. Not hopelessly and completely lost, but I had no idea where I was going. And I still wasn’t navigating in the city that well. I was wandering down some crowded street, by the old church, by the smoking food carts, by the high concrete construction walls that I’d seen the summer before. And suddenly I realized that my feet brought me right to 9/11 memorial.
I felt so ashamed that I didn’t know it was right there, behind these construction walls. Near Century 21 where I would go each time I visited New York. As I felt ashamed today, feeling how fast one can lose the track of time when away from the newsflashes and social network posts. I do remember that year, when my parents froze in front of the kitchen TV with terror on their faces, and I was so confused that I couldn’t really get what was going on.
The older you get, the more it strikes you. Few weeks ago I saw the Newseum exposition in Washington, DC. A huge wall covered with front pages of many, many newspapers and magazines from all over the world. A huge antenna, deformed and darkened, from the top of one of the towers. A burnt camera, some documents and a press pass, covered in ashes – all that was left from a photographer who worked there that day. And digital stands storing hundreds, thousands of memories, comments, notes and prayers from people coming from all around the globe.
Watching the documentaries in the little theatre with tears in their eyes.
Telling their children who came with them what happened that day.
Recovering their breath, reaching for the digital stands to share their story.
Three Muslim girls, standing silently in front of the exhibition, close to each other, moving from one object to another without saying a single word.
Everything in this exposition, in these objects, in these people’s faces telling you: