Love is the only freedom in the world
because it so elevates the spirit
that the laws of humanity
and the phenomena of nature
do not alter its course.
~ Kahlil Gibran ~
[ 9/11 Memorial Museum – In Memoriam Exhibit ]
The 2,983 photos cover the four walls, this microcosm of humanity. Gone too soon, and far too young, no matter the age.
The Wall of Faces.
Young and old; black, white, red, brown and yellow; smiling and carefree; serious and professional.
Mothers and fathers; brothers and sisters; husbands and wives; sons and daughters; bosses and co-workers; captains and lieutenants; lovers and friends.
People from over 90 countries, but Americans all.
The impact of the sheer number of people lost punches you in the chest, the intake of breath keening out in an anguished, “Oh, my God…,” over and over in a litany of disbelief.
Oh – my – God.
Frozen tears pour out in a scalding torrent.
Here, then, a Captain in the Fire Department of New York, dress uniform shining and starched, dedication in his gaze.
Next to him, a middle-aged woman, motherly, soft around the edges, her eyes rimmed with lines from years of laughter.
Down some rows to the handsome young man in a tuxedo – model handsome – with a smile that can light up a room, along with his wife’s heart.
My eyes move up to the older man, graying at the temples, dignified in his Wall Street clothing, his face a mask of professionalism.
The young woman, so vibrant and full of life, the girl-next-door, prom queen and cheer-leading captain all rolled into one.
The man of indeterminate age, his ebony skin matching his eyes which radiate compassion and a quiet reserve.
The young EMT, eager to help, focused, smiling, full of hope.
I remove my glasses as if to rub the images from my vision and instead visualize a sea of colors, a tapestry, that together unite into one huge photograph of humanity.
Out of many – One.
Oh. My. God.
This I Promise You…
For those who are alone, I will sit with you.
For those who have no voice, I will speak for you.
For those who feel invisible, I will see you.
For those who are afraid, I will protect you.
For those who know hunger, I will feed you.
For those who need help, I will offer aid.
For those who suffer emotionally, I will help ease it.
For those who go unheard, I will listen.
For those who mourn, I will comfort you.
For those who know sickness, I will nurture you.
For those who know hate, I will love you.
For those who are dying, I will help you to live.
For those who crave human touch, I will reach out to you.
For those who are blind, I will see for you.
For those in pain, I will bring relief.
For those who cannot walk, I will journey for you.
For those who are lost, I will find you.
For those in despair, I will hold hope for you.
For those who weep, I will dry your tears.
For those with no place called home, I will shelter you.
For those who are wounded, I will bring healing.
For those who wait in darkness, I will be your Light.
This I Promise You… ~ Theresa