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Weekly e-Gram for members and friends of Dublin Community Church

September 13, 2013

1 WTC

I was at Ground Zero in New York City two years after the 9/11 attacks. I have little history with that city but like anyone who visited that site back then, one could not help but be moved.

I was also struck by the amount of damage done to the nearby buildings when the Twin Towers fell. The amount of destruction was even more than I imagined, and I imagined quite a lot after repeated viewings and readings about that terrible morning.

So many died in the initial crashes. More died when First Responders found themselves in the path of the crumbling buildings. Others alive but still in the buildings, were lost also. (And this is not to neglect the tragic loss of life at the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania plane crash.)

As all Americans, as any freedom loving person, that was and remains a very difficult time to contemplate. But, contemplate we must.

Over the years I watched and read with interest, the progress on the new skyscraper built at the site of the Twin Towers. Initially, I did not see how we as a nation and New Yorkers who were on the front lines of the tragedy could see their way forward with both a fitting memorial and a skyscraper-statement which testifies to our resolve to not back down.

And then recently I watched a PBS story about the building of the new One World Trade Center. It is stunning in both its concept as a modern/technical marvel to architectural design and as a statement that we will not be terrorized into submission.

How can architects be both dreamers and detail-oriented people? How can a city, a nation be both on guard and driven to excel into the future? How can ministers such as myself be hopeful about the future but realistic about the fear which surrounds us?

As a child I was taught to fear the Atomic Bomb in my classroom drills. I learned to fear the Soviets, and the Cuban Missiles, and the existence of the Berlin Wall. Times change and now the world is concerned about terrorists who know no boundaries or national borders.

My fears were real then, they continue to be real and yet I am rational about their existence. I know that there will always be something to fear. Some fears will move on and others will take their place. Yet, I maintain hope. I hold that hope for the future in my hands with each child’s baptism. I see the hope for a nation and for others when I see a skyscraper rise from the ashes. The fear never goes away; neither does the hope.

Peace, Rev. Bob Tussing

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