This evening’s 9-11 memorial here on Roosevelt Island included several readings of poems, three songs and a presentation of a tree sapling by a representative from a group of Oklahoma City bombing survivors who traveled to NYC to take part in various 9-11 events. The entire ceremony lasted less than a half hour and concluded with those assembled singing “Amazing Grace” and those individuals interested walking from the Church plaza to the East River Promenade to view the Pillars of Light.
By my count there were approximately 200 people or so in attendance. The opening speaker stated that it was important to come together each year so that knowledge of this event is passed on by those that were there to those that were not so that they never forget.
I filmed the entire event with my little camera and am currently converting the file now so I can upload it onto the Internet. The ceremony started in the light and finished in the dark so I am unsure how clear the back end of the video will be. The audio will be fine as RIOC provided microphones and speakers amplifying the event so that even my little camera picked it all up.
Before leaving the plaza I was approached by Tahira Khan, the mother of Taimour Khan, who is one of the individuals we had all come together as a community to remember. Ms. Khan politely introduced herself and indicated that she had forgotten to bring a camera this evening and wanted to ask if I would share the video I had shot. My response was of course yes and I look forward to hearing from her again to give her copies of the base footage.
After separating from Ms. Khan I realized that the ceremony included no words from family members or friends, nor did it include any speechifying by local representatives or clergy. The ceremony simply included a selection of readings and poems meant for us to think and remember those lost, from Roosevelt Island and the whole city, each in our own ways. It succeeded and those individuals who planned it as such should be thanked.