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A NY Reality


Being from LA, 9/11 really didn't mean that much to me. I was a freshman when it happened, it couldn't have been more then a couple weeks into the semester. I believe it was the first late start we had when my mom woke me up and told me a plane crashed into a ny building. at first i thought she was talking about a movie she was watching and i was like, that's great. when i saw it i couldn't believe it. i remember i was playing football that year and i was like, 'what's the point of playing football when things like this are happening around the world?' i told my coaches there were some things i had to figure out and i didn't go to practice that week. i even missed one of the games. i also went to a couple prayer meetings. but that was the extent of my reaction to the event. Being in NY now it is completely different. Every time i've gone down to the wtc site my heart beat slows and i almost seem to stop breathing. to think of the devastation, the lives lost, and the countless number of lives that were affected both with deaths and jobs. it's unbelievable. 7 years and we are still struggling to recover. there's a fire station right across from the site, and the last time we were down there one of its doors was up. i hadn't seen this happen on my previous visits and what i saw was a private memorial to their fallen comrades. This is the reality they live in. Whenever they leave that station they will see this memorial. Every time they look across the street i'm sure they think of their friends they have lost. There's a church that's a couple blocks away called St. Paul's. In the aftermath of 9/11, caring people from throughout the nation who wanted to help stayed in the church. This church is real old and it is said that George Washington used to attend it back when the capitol was in NY. anyway, inside it's basically a giant memorial to 9/11 with a bunch of stations set up. one is of a bunch of origami. i hadn't known this before, but one of my kids read that the origami was from Japanese school children. this caught me by surprise for as i'm sure you can recall the actions carried out by America during WWII. Furthermore, in the church there's a giant banner that reads "Oklahoma loves you" and has the signatures of many. I hadn't realized the significance of this before, but this group was from Oklahoma and one of my kids was reminding me of the Oklahoma city bombings. While i was going on my strike against football i'm glad other people were actually extending a sympathetic hand.

-Josh Lo, CSM New York City Host Summer 2008