Discover Prompt 7: Below

Ladder Company 3 Fire Truck.

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.

Wreckage from 9/11 on display
Wreckage from 9/11 on display

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.

Artist Red Grooms portrays those who came to the aid of victims of 9/11
Artist Red Grooms portrays those who came to the aid of victims of 9/11

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.

Fourth graders in Charleston, South Carolina, expressed their interpretation of the tragedy of 9/11.
Fourth graders in Charleston, South Carolina, expressed their interpretation of the tragedy of 9/11.

We can only hope that the same unity and positivity will lead us forward — through and beyond the coronavirus and above all expectations.

Rusha Sams

7 thoughts on “Discover Prompt 7: Below

  1. Curt Mekemson

    Excellent use of the prompt, Rusha. Tragedies have a way fo bringing us together. Two very different incidents but with some similar results. The heroic action of New York’s first responders being one. The actions of the governor of New York and the mayor of the city being another. And the willingness of the citizens to do their part another. Thank you. –Curt

  2. kzmcb

    I lay in bed this morning wondering if, a year from now, we will be living with a little more wisdom and gratitude, or if we’ll fall back into life before Covid-19 (LBC19).
    Many will still be reeling from the shock of losing someone close to them. We’ll need to keep an eye on them.
    On a lighter side, one thing is for sure – the new go-to gift for the practical person will be toilet paper. It may EVEN become the unisex gift, replacing socks, jocks, ties, perfume, flowers and chocolate.

  3. lulu

    I was so wanting to visit the 9/11 Museum during my recent visit to NYC, but coronavirus got in the way as everything began closing shortly after my arrival.

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