Tag Archives: New York

Memories Are the Key Not to the Past, but to the Future

Bev-Pam-in-NY-ca-1983_thumb.jpg

The Hicks Sisters ca 1983

“Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.” ~ Corrie Ten Boom ~

It had been a glorious, beautiful, brisk autumn day. I stood and breathed in a stunning panoramic view as I watched the sun lower into a captivating sunset. Faster than I realized, dusk took over, and then twilight swiftly took hold as I watched evening begin to dance alive in the streets below in Manhattan.

It was a wonderful magic show – partly Divinely created and partly man made. It was etched into my memory for the rest of my life.

I was standing in the observation deck of the World Trade Center.

Little did I know 18 years later the very spot I was standing on would topple to the ground in rubble and dust and become part of Ground Zero. My magical space would be destroyed by Islamic terrorists filled with hate, determined to destroy my country and thousands of innocent people.

I was a young lass on that magical day in 1983, the mother of a toddler, full of hope for a bright future. I look at pictures of my sister and me taken during that visit and I get chill bumps because I see us and I want to shout, “Look long and hard. Burn these memories into your mind because you will lose so much in the future!”

How could I ever imagine the terror that lay ahead for me personally and the terror that laid ahead for my country? How could I have ever imagined something like 9/11 happening in my country?

But, it did. And, it happened in a year that was one of personal turmoil for me. There were things that happened to me I never thought I would experience in my world – vows broken, trusts broken, violence committed. And, then in the midst of all that – September 11, 2001 happened.

I had just returned home the day before from a trip to Florida with a friend who had gone down to see her parents. On the trip I’d had a health crisis and spent time in the ER.

So, I was still feeling frail and in recovery mode on that September morning when I got a call that said, “Turn on your TV!”

As we speculated – was this an accident or an attack – the second plane plowed into the second Trade Tower. That pretty much settled it – we were under attack.

From that point on, I was glued in place in front of the TV just to watch the unfolding events. Since I had lived in New York for about a year, I knew how many people lived and worked in that area of the city and the numbers were massive. Small city-size massive. We could be looking at unbelievably high death tolls. I began to cry and pray.

Then, one of the most horrific things I’d ever seen in my life happened – one of the Towers began to crumble, to accordion down on itself. It was falling like a stick of hot butter in a microwave.

How could this be happening?!

I desperately wanted the other Tower to be saved – but in my heart I knew it more or less faced the same fate. And, it did. It fell, too, leaving a trail of cascading destruction and death.

And, then the aftermath began…mountains size heaps of debris, personal locators of first responders trilling constantly indicating a man down here…and here…and there…and over there…and here… It was a new level of hell.

It took this country a while to recover from 9/11 just like it took me a while to recover from the personal cataclysm going on in my life at the time.

But, recover I did. I did by beginning to move on. I married the man who should have always been my heart mate. I grew stronger inside and stronger mentally regardless of what my disabled body tried to tell me.

Every year when 9/11 comes around I remember. Some years are worse than others. This year was bad. My PTSD kicks in many years. Every year I have a man that stands by me with unyielding compassion and understanding.

I have a very growing concern that Americans are growing away from 9/11. They are forgetting 9/11 – the cause, effect and aftermath and how we were one Family after the attack.

Unlike the generation before who “Remembered Pearl Harbor!”, it’s deemed not very politically correct to “Remember 9/11” any more. Patriotism is almost view as “deplorable”. Some of our leaders like to play political footsies with the very people who financed the terrorism against us and are getting wealthy themselves from these relationships.

This is very unfortunate because history and the past are our teachers. If we forget our past, many times we are destined to repeat the past.

Corrie Ten Boom and her family were Gentile Dutch living in Nazi occupied Holland during WWII. The Ten Boom family saw what the Nazis were doing to the Jews in Holland and they made a decision to make a difference. They began hiding Jews in their home. Eventually the Ten Boom family was discovered and the Nazis rounded them up and sent them to concentration camps. Corrie lost family members in these camps.

After the war, Corrie understood the importance of putting the past into perspective. No, we don’t live in the past, but as Corrie said, “Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”

We must take the lessons of 9/11 and learn from them – for the sake of the future and so the death of the thousands lost that September day are not in vain.

© 2016 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under 9/11, Anniversaries, History, Islamic Terrorist, Life, Memories, New York, New York City, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, September 11, USA, World Trade Towers

The Bonds of Family Can Be Severed in an Instant, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“9/11 was a reminder that the bonds of family can be severed in an instant. They are essential, crucial, valuable, fragile.” ~ Peter Jennings ~

Bev & Pam in NY ca 1983

I don’t know who came up with the saying “time heals all wounds”. There must be a committee of pencil heads sitting in a room somewhere whose specific job is to do nothing but come up with dumb platitudes. This one is probably one of the lamest.

I personally don’t believe time heals all wounds. I think it may scab over the wound and then scar over it, but totally heal it? No. In the long run, time may help us deal with a wound or a hurt or teach us how to survive.

Take for example my two bouts of non-smoking lung cancer. I have two long scars that run from under my breasts, around my sides and across my rib cage and onto my back to within a few inches of my spine. There’s a scar on each side because I’ve had cancer in both lungs. So, for all practical purposes I was cut almost in half – twice. I have scars where those wounds were. I will always have them. They are a reminder I have survived cancer twice. But, time will not erase the scars, the memories of what I went through or the fact I am minus major portions of both lungs.

For the past 12 years our country has marked a wound on our nation. One that left a terrible scar. A void where almost 3,000 hearts use to beat. They went silent on September 11, 2001.

For the past few years I have marked that day here, usually with pictures I took on trips to New York City – all with views of the World Trade Towers. This year is no different. For you see I had very fond memories of New York and the day the Towers went down left a deep scar on my heart.

The picture this year is of me (on the left) and my sister. We are standing on Liberty Island with the Trade Towers over my shoulder. It was a spectacular sight and I still get choked up when I see pictures like this.

But, looking back on us 30 years ago, I realize how fleeting time can be. Has it really been 30 years? There are children in school now who were born after the Towers fell – they have lived in a world that never knew the Towers. There were people born after that picture was taken that didn’t survive that September morning.

If only those two young lasses could have spoken from the picture and warned of things to come…

My parents are in their 80s now. They have seen history and world changes that 70 years ago would have seemed like science fiction. A man walking on the moon? Pictures from Mars? Organ transplants? Smart bombs? Smart phones and tablets?

But, one thing does run constant through the history of mankind – the bonds of family. My precious aunt passed away June 23, 2012. I have missed her every day since then. Time has not healed that wound. It was a personal 9/11. I continue to try and move forward, much like our nation did in those first scary days after terror and hate took down two famous buildings and stopped the beating of 3,000 hearts.

We continue forward because we have to – those bonds of family are essential, crucial, valuable and fragile. Savor them while you can, tend them, enjoy them, nurture them and protect them because we never know when the next cruelest moment might strike.

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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Filed under 9/11, Family, New York, New York City, Photography, Picture of the Day, Quote of the Day, September 11, Sisters, World Trade Towers

I Will Never Forget the Bright September Day…, by Beverly Hicks Burch

“I will never forget the bright September day, standing at my desk in the White House, when my young assistant said that a plane hit the World Trade Center – and then a second one…” ~ Condoleezza Rice ~

remarkable capture

I was a young lass toting around a Pentax SLR almost 30 years ago to the day when I captured this image.

I rediscovered it as I was sorting though my pictures. I’m on a mission to scan and digitally preserve as many as I can. The color in many of the photographs has already degraded into an almost black and white composition…but, the image is still there.

This picture managed to make me catch my breath for a fleeting second…for several reasons…

First, I didn’t recall taking the image…but that’s what 30 years of time and life do for you. Then, I always seem to have that reaction when I find a photograph I’ve taken of the World Trade Towers. It was a time of adventure and exploration in my life and the Trade Towers were one of my favorite places.

A first glance it appears the Goodyear blimp has just floated between the Towers, but a closer glance will show you it’s an optical illusion and it is actually in front of the Towers. But, the next shockingly amazing thing about this picture is the capture of the airplane flying just above the blimp. You can see it in front of the Tower on the right.

How eerie to see an airplane that close to the Towers knowing what destiny and history will bring 18 years in the future…

New York and the country lost a lot on that bright September day…

If we all look back, I’m sure we can think of things we have lost personally or have gone through that have been as devastating on a personal level.

I know I can look back over the last twelve years and at certain times say or think, “This has been a personal 9/11 for me.” There were no planes, no blimps, just loss, financial woes and in some cases emotional terrorism caused by betrayal.

On May 10, 2013 the 408 foot spire was raised and installed at One World Trade Center, or as it’s also known, The Freedom Tower. It was a happy, jubilant moment. A moment that reminded New Yorkers how resilient they were and reminded Americans how resilient we are.

So, for the struggles we suffered, we are now rewarded with triumph. It reminds me of a the saying: “Well, done thy good and faithful servant.” Like an old black and white western movie, good won over evil…the guy in the white hat beat the guy in the black hat…

I know, I will never forget that bright September day…so, as we struggle through with some of our darker days, remember, we will get our “Freedom Spire” someday.

And, until then, head high, and…“second star to the right and straight on until morning….” ~ J. M. Barrie ~

© 2013 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

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I Remember… by Beverly Hicks Burch

In six days we’ll mark an anniversary of the worst kind. As Americans we are given to celebrating and marking memorable events. Some are grandiose with bands, food, parades and fireworks. Others are rather solemn and somber.

Sept. 11th or as it has come to be known in our vernacular as 9/11 is an event I think we’d rather not have to mark. We mark the occasion of the worst terrorist attack on US soil in history. You can rewrite history or try to justify it, but that is exactly what it was. It was an evil cowardly act.

Everyone of us alive on that day has our own story to tell. We know where we were, how we found out and how we felt as we watched those giant twin towers fall into oblivion and history.

I like to try and remember the Trade Towers as they were. I did have the privilege of visiting them many time and viewing New York from the top…a sight never to be seen again.

I found this picture while going through some old pictures the other day. It made me cry…

I remember - World Trade Towers 1984

© 2011 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.

 

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Filed under 9/11, History, New York, New York City, Photography, Picture of the Day, September 11, World Trade Towers