Friday, September 24, 2010

Where there is still hope for peace


The summer of 2002, destination, New York!
As the plane was approaching JFK, I peered through the window in anticipation of getting a glimpse of the Manhattan skyline. I instead saw green landscapes perfect for a picture postcard.

Passing through the streets of NY, one thing that caught my attention was the American flags flying in front of all the beautiful homes and well kept gardens. At once I wanted to know why? I was told after 9/11 attacks, each and everyone living in NY just put the American flags to show they are united and how much they loved their country. Flags were everywhere, it spoke more than words.

Now, Ground Zero was the place I wanted to visit. Hiring a Lincoln Town car, the driver a friendly Pakistani, on the way to lower Manhattan, narrated heart rending stories of the lives lost on that day and how he saw the Twin Towers coming down as he waited to pick up some passengers that morning. He dropped us a few blocks away from Ground zero and told us to take our time. With a quick thank you nod, my son and I walked hand in hand towards the streets shaded by the skyscrapers. All those things I had watched on TV started to unfurl in my mind. 

The streets were full of tourists, all silently walking. When we approached the footpath, we could see hundreds of cards and photographs stuck on the fence of those people missing and dead. My nine year old son too had made a card. When he opened the card to place it, I read, "We’ll miss you Peter! May peace be with you wherever you are!" Now who is this Peter and why did my son write this name? I don't know?! Maybe God knows!

After a while we proceeded to a man selling a book titled, 'Day of tragedy', a document of American history. As I opened the book, I read President George W Bush's words, "We will rid the world of these evil doers". As I flipped through the pages I could see the drama of disaster unfolding! Oh my God!

I prayed... Save this world of such disasters! Words were failing. Just closing the book, we continued to walk towards Ground zero. When we reached the spot we stood there silently and prayed for all those who lost their lives. My son whispered,”So this is the place where the twin towers once stood!"

As we reached the waiting taxi, the driver asked me," Did you take a ferry ride to see the million dollar view'? "Yes", I said.  He sighted, "It looks like a mouth of a young child with two front teeth missing!"
The two front teeth he was referring to were the missing Twin Towers! I added, "You mean to say, new teeth will come up in its place?"
For which he looked at the sky with his palms together.

Whatever the race, wherever the place, hope for peace still remains. Isn’t it?

So many years have passed since this above incident but still I am yet to find a world where there is no war, hatred or terrorism!


  1. Ash, same here.....I too every wake up with a hope to see a new sunrise in the heart of the world where only peace will echo in each corner...We can only hope for the best...

    Thanks a lot for visiting my blog...Keep in touch dear....

  2. Your blog looks amazing and the contents too... there is so much to learn from you!