911 - Ground Zero 360 Exhibition
While people all over the world are certainly mindful of 911, the terrible tragedy that occurred on that sunny September morning in New York City, the Irish have a special interest in paying their respects it seems, as the Ground Zero 360 exhibition at the Museum of Decorative Arts and History is seeing huge footfall since it opened on August 18th. Poignant reminders of that fateful day, forever etched in our lives, are portrayed in Nicola McClean’s haunting panoramic photographs. Clear evidence of our long history of emigration to the USA is there to be seen on the roster of Rescue 2, FDNY, Brooklyn which lost 7 men that day including an M O’Rourke and the many, many others who died that day. Whether they were worked in the World Trade Centre or were ‘just doing their job’ in the Emergency Services, as many of their heart broken comrades have commented since.
There is not an Irishman or woman alive today that doesn’t remember where they were when the news of the terrible tragedy started to unfold, I was collecting my children from school and immediately went to light candles in the local church. Ireland lived through the agonised wait for news of survivors that didn’t come and an incredible sadness hung like that pall of smoke from the towers, all over Ireland. I visited Ground Zero a couple of years later and tears just streamed down my face like many others around me, visiting the St Pauls Trinity Church (miraculously untouched) and learning about the efforts of all those involved in the aftermath was a humbling yet reassuring experience of the man’s humanity to man when it’s needed. Which is what makes people great and nations great, that will to survive, rebuild and prosper, the Irish wish America well on that journey.