Editorial comment – We remember

Chinese Ambassador to Fiji Qian Bo inspects the guard of honor at Black Rock Military camp in Nadi. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

IT’S part of the American Dream, the land of opportunity, the Big Apple!

Manhattan is the smallest and most densely populated borough of New York City.

It’s a city that continues to capture the imagination and stirs the emotions of millions of people around the world for many reasons.

I remember it being a bright and sunny day some years ago, but the temperature gauge was stuck on 9 degrees Celsius.

The sun offered some comfort, but it does get cold in parts of New York that the locals say never sees sunlight because they are caged in by skyscrapers.

New York does open up though.

Up being the key word.

Restricted by space, Manhattan blossomed into a city of diverse cultures, ethnicity, and upwards!

New Yorkers have this thing about their city being the economic engine-room of America.

This is where life revolves around the ‘New York minute’, and there’s a fond attachment to this massive urban jungle which stretches from the lower East end to the upper edges of Manhattan, tying down Harlem.

This is where Times Square sits, and Broadway is an avenue that brims with thousands of faces daily, and Central Park offers its citizens a sense of appreciation of nature, and perhaps an opportunity to discover inner peace in a city that is arguably one of the most densely populated in the world.

It’s a city where immigrants from all over the world have rested their tired feet, happy to call it their very own ‘skyscraper park’.

New York is a city that never sleeps.

But this is a city that has a traumatic past, and continues to be a reminder of America’s economic progress.

The years have rolled on, yet the memories of September 11, 2001 linger.

It has sort of defined the city, propping it up on the minds of millions of people around the world.

Every year since the collapse of the Twin Towers in 2001, the people of New York remember the nearly 3000 people who perished that day when two aircraft crashed into the towers.

The scenes that day are etched in history, forever a reminder of the frightening reach of global terrorism.

New York has been kind on the memories of those killed that day, even if a report in the New York Post a day ago suggested a nation not just polarised, but fractured.

The memorial on Ground Zero is apt as it is powerful.

It stands as a constant reminder of the horrific scenes that left an indelible impression on the minds of millions of people around the world.

The names of the victims are etched on stone around the reflecting pools that sit on Ground Zero in place of the collapsed towers.

Then there is the Survivor Tree.

It was covered in ash when it was taken to be replanted in the Bronx in November that year.

No one expected it to survive.

By 2002, there was new growth and those taking care of it knew ‘the survivor tree’ would make it.

It became a symbol of hope for New Yorkers.

We have an opportunity to remember the fallen and be motivated to stand up in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds.

We must ensure terror has no place among us.

We breath, we live, we remember!

May there be peace on Earth!

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