How Much Facial Hair Should A 18 Year Old Have ‘Searching For God at Ground Zero’ – My Memories of the Twin Towers Devastation

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‘Searching For God at Ground Zero’ – My Memories of the Twin Towers Devastation

The other taxi passed within inches of our bumper before skidding to a stop and finally coming to a stop. For a moment the two drivers looked at each other instinctively, wide-eyed and open-mouthed, and there, in the eerie silence of the city, they waited, as if some passing wind would blow and give voice to their actions. In perfect silence, no words came, no horns sounded, and there on 7th Ave., like fellow tribesmen gathering at a distant pass, they waved each other politely and both quietly passed on his way We traveled further south into the city as if in a dream, moving through empty streets, until we reached the familiar billboards of Times Square, where the advertising on many of the electronic billboards had now been replaced by blue and red flags of neon consecrated with the words. “God Bless America.” We continued east on Broadway in complete silence, not daring to give any words to our inner thoughts, which probably had no answers. Then it started to rain, little drops like drops that dared to dance against the windshield, but the taxi driver seemed too absorbed in his own world to even notice turning on the windshield wipers. I heard that he was an Afghan, like many of the other drivers, aware of the muddy battlefields and the mujahadeen, but now he was like a frightened jungle cat, timidly looking around for a place to hide, hoping that the day would happen I watched him for a while, his loss of dignity before the echoes of a passing fire truck siren filled the cabin apologetically, before he floated away on the wings of silence. We continued south through Union Square, through the city’s grand shopping and commercial boulevards, where stores and theaters had replaced storefronts with giant American flags. There have been few times in my life when I have felt completely at home in this great city, but this was one.

I finally got off at Canal Street, as the cab driver could take me no further, and slowly walked south on West Broadway to the intersection with Fulton Street. In the distance, clearly visible against a cobalt blue sky, a plume of gray smoke spiraled from the remains of the area he had once loved. Just being there brought back memories, too many late nights with Irish friends at the Blarney Rock on Church and West Broadway, the cobblestone streets where I first learned life, the all-night Korean delis that kept us from hungry Now the shops were closed and the air was filled with an acrid smell of burning plastic and a lingering intoxicating smell, which he assumed was rotting flesh. It was raining harder now, and through the haze of my unfolded vision I saw National Guardsmen in fatigues slowly pass me in a growling Humvee, making me feel as if I had just walked into the scene of a new Bruce Willis movie Die Hard. Slightly humiliated by my inability to help, I stood there in voyeuristic silence and watched as men in every form of uniform imaginable moved through the streets and loaded wrecker trucks lined up beside me like soldier ants they clarify after their nest had been attacked. . The white dust, which had hung in the air for days, had now settled on nearby million-dollar apartments, on police barricades and on the once-black leather boots of the park’s shoe store. The sky was closing in as he passed makeshift shrines of lit candles, adorned with fresh flowers and letters of heartbreaking messages to the missing, now presumed dead. I sat in silence for a while again, feeling close to the spirits of the deceased, and read one of the posters that caught my eye,

“Dr. Sheena Ann Phillip, a physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Staten Island, is missing. Black hair, brown eyes 31 years old Olive/Indian skin Last known to be at Century 21, across from the WTC, Monday at 7:18 with several shopping bags. wearing a brown knee-length dress and sandals.”

Under different circumstances it could have been me, lying in the rubble, another Westerner now sacrificed on the altar of Islamic fundamentalism. Then some people approached me. They handed out printed prayer leaflets, said few words, each instinctively wanting to reach out, each looking for reasons, each hoping to touch the edge of that incomprehensible infinity we all called God. A sign on a nearby bus shelter said only “This is between God and Allah, and our God is the greatest.”

Yes, indeed, it was the misguided followers of Allah who had brought me to this place of death. Probably some Deobandis with historical grievances based on economic inequality who were willing to throw themselves and many others to death for shaheed on these two sacrificial pillars of capitalism. I thought of the many young students, memorizing the Koran, that I had seen cross-legged in those airless madrasa classrooms when I traveled to Afghanistan many years before. They spoke only their ethnic language Pashto, but each memorized classical Arabic, repeating the words of their teachers for many hours. As altar boys in Ireland, we had all memorized the Latin Mass in a similar way, ironically the language of the victor, the creed of the victor. And yet the children of Ireland had come here and built this great city, while the children of others who espoused another belief had returned and destroyed it. I looked at the sign again,

Yes, indeed, we would soon be back at war…to see whose God was the greatest after all!.

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