Seeing the Statute of Liberty off in the distance made me wonder how the immigrants must have felt. I know how I feel so I can’t imagine the emotion that stirred within them. A symbol of freedom. I appreciate being a citizen of the United States.
We came into New York up the River on a Sunday. The ferry and boat traffic was incredible and the throngs of people everywhere one looked was mind boggling. Heavy security was prevalent. Coast Guard boats with automatic weapons came alongside our boats. Helicopters hovered by the United Nations.
The trip today invoked an array of feelings and emotions. The exhilaration I felt as we passed under Throggs Neck Bridge and headed down the East River to the City lifted my spirits high. Going down through the infamous Hell Gate and up the East River we passed the prison on Riker’s Island and it made me reflect upon all the bad people in there and why were they so bad. Planes flew out of the ground into the air at LaGuardia. Children played basketball and soccer along the shore while families enjoyed picnics. There were ruins and traffic and the noise going under the bridges from the cars and trucks overhead was like thunder up close.
The construction of the new tower where the twin towers once stood was impressive to say the least. Billy, Linda and I went into the city up the Hudson where we imagined Sully landing “we’re going down in the Hudson” and what it must have been like for those people standing on the wing knowing they were alive. We circumnavigated the site of the 9/11 attack and talked about what it would have been like and couldn’t fathom what the people went through. Tickets to actually get in weren’t available but the city adventure was well worth the $3 per foot to dock the boat for a couple hours. The memorials are heartbreaking. The air feels thick. There is security and police everywhere. The construction of the new building made me ponder the resilience and perseverance of the New York people. Ladder Co. 10 adjacent to the site and the firefighter memorial made you stop, stare and be there almost trance like without realization. Trying to mail some post cards there were no street side boxes. Sitting for a sandwich, when I asked a couple people if they could drop my postcards in the mail at their office, they were hesitant and not trusting of me. The third person I asked was a couple women sitting beside us. They took the post cards, with hesitation. Come to find out one of them was in town from Marshfield, the town right beside Scituate. Today was a day that exhausted you from being happy, exhuberant, exhilarated to saddened, contemplative and appreciative of what you have. A big high to a big low — but bringing yourself back up in true admiration of these people we call New Yorkers.