A headline in our Knoxville News-Sentinel today announced:
New York City’s death toll from the coronavirus rose past 3,200 on Tuesday, eclipsing the number killed at the World Trade Center on 9/11.”Associated Press
What it means for those of us who are staying at home, watching the news intensely, and wondering if we really are flattening the curve is this:
The terrible toll on human lives after the “deadliest terror attack on U. S. soil [that] killed 2, 753 people in the city” is below that of the toll exacted on human lives by the coronavirus.
It’s sobering — both the statistics shared with us after 9/11 and and the stats shared today. And the artifacts contained within the 9/11 Museum in New York City seem reflective of the convoluted nature of both events.
You have to go below to see what has been salvaged: twisted steel, mangled fire trucks, even some personal items from people affected by the disaster. Visitors to this underground repository move quietly as they read the posted statements and internalize the grief and horror of those tragic moments.
But amid the rubbish and the world-turned-upside-down remnants, there is hope on display in the area below at the 9/11 Museum. Artist Red Grooms pulled together people — ordinary citizens, city leaders, first-line responders — to reveal a solidarity of effort and positive motion in the days following the disaster.
Children, too, expressed their hope that America would one day be better and more unified as Americans all across the country resolved to work together.
We can only hope that the same unity and positivity will lead us forward — through and beyond the coronavirus and above all expectations.