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When Dickens wrote, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”, he must have been looking over our shoulders, for the year 2001 certainly had it’s peaks and valleys for our family.  Overall, the year pulled our family closer together and our bonds are stronger now than ever.

Above all else 2001 gave us a renewed sense of family and country.  Denni was in Raleigh NC that morning of September 11th and woke us up in San Jose with the news of the terrible tragedy.  As I’m sure all of you did, we watched in horror as the events unfolded.  If anything good came from September 11th, it was a new spirit of nationalism unlike any we’ve ever experienced in our lifetime.  It gave us a new unity within the country and the determination to rid the world of the evils that threaten us.  And above all, it gave us the opportunity to reflect on what is so near and dear to us: our families, our friends and our freedom.

Just a week before Christmas, we took a quick weekend trip to New York City.  While we were there, we went to the World Trade Center to pay our respects and found it to be quite a sobering experience.  In several places, you could actually get pretty close to Ground Zero, so we spent the better part of a day walking around the entire perimeter.

People came by the thousands to visit the area.  They were mostly silent and talked in whispers because this is a sacred place where our innocent citizens lost their lives.

If you've ever visited a battlefield such as Concord or Gettysburg, then you'll understand the aura that surrounds Ground Zero.  It's a place where you simply stand in awe and look and try to imagine what it must have been like when it happened.  It's almost too astounding to be true and you are overwhelmed in both sadness and anger. 

         
When we were there, the remains of the twin towers were gone and only pieces of some of the adjacent buildings remained.  But the scars are still there.  However, New York is a resilient city and we could sense that the spirit of its people is strong.  

 

St. Paul's Church on Broadway near the WTC

 

Lots of signs hung on fences

Tributes from all over the world were everywhere

 

Denni leaves a note

 

The remains of WTC 6

Seen from the South across the WTC Plaza

Seen from the West near the AmEx building

Seen from the North