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Last weekend the 9-11 Museum opened downtown, it being a Memorial for the victims, as well as a Museum with different objects uncovered after the attack, put on display. The official opening-up party, with drinks and food said to’ve been served at the Museum, received critique from families of the victims, as published in N.Y.’s daily papers, with the papers themselves expressing their outrage.
When first paging through a daily N.Y. paper, with photos of different displays published – from a surviving fire engine, to a lady shoe of a possible victim, that appeared to be stained either from blood or mud ( it was hard to tell), i almost felt as though i’d eaten something unsuitable, so to speak.
I chose not to look at more of the special section about the Museum. I also knew that i would never visit the Museum, nor have i gone even close to that area since the tragedy took place. I’ve never been a tragedy surveyor who’d go to places of destruction, and live by a concept allegorically told in the Bible, which is the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah.
God had decided to destroy the City of Sodom and Gomorrah and having decided so told Abraham and Lot and their wives to leave the city. When doing so, he told them, they should not look back to see what God would do to the city, for if they do they’d turn into a Pillar of Salt.
Lot’s wife, however, turned around, and she turned into a Pillar of Salt. The term ” Pillar of Salt” is a metaphor, found in many ancient texts, from Persian, to Arabic, Latin, Greek, as well as Vedic scriptures, meaning that when looking “back” at tragedies one will be stuck in one place unable to go on, crying tears of “salt” – unable to move forward – instead God suggested NOT to look back, rather look forward.
Taking this “advice” of God, if you will, to heart, i have rarely gone to grave sites, not even of my father who asked of me when i was still a child, though he died decades later when i was an adult, to not visit his grave, nor think of him as having left this plane of the body-living, instead remember him the way he was when still alive.
His advice served me well through the years. One time, however, i made an exception to my rule when one of my closest friends died in 2008. He died too suddenly, and too young at only 52 years of age. There was so much i still wanted to tell him, thus i went to visit his fresh gravesite on which had not yet been a grave stone. The sudden awareness that his body lay under the ground overwhelmed me with sorrow. From that day forward the last picture i had in my mind of him, was that of standing at his grave site, instead of the one where we’d jovially sang, ” The Bare Necessities” a song from the Mowgli movie, in a pub, with him singing it in his incredible basso voice.
After that i knew exactly how wise and powerful my father’s advice to me was, as well as the suggestion allegorically told in the Bible.
I’d lost too many friends and acquaintances to accidents and illnesses in the past years, to choose not to suffer tragedies from the outside, as well. I see no purpose in suffering voluntarily, and visiting a museum with nothing but displays of tragedy.
But i was curious how others may feel about the Museum, especially New Yorkers. I myself was not in town when the tragedy took place and saw the same on TV as everyone else. But many experienced while in N.Y.thus i asked around curious what other’s opinion was about the Museum and if they’d consider visiting.
Not one person considered going. The arguments were :
1. It glorifies the success of the attackers, with the displays showing off “their” work and “achievement” of having caused destruction.
2. It is a remembrance of the day of the “attacker’s” conquest that cost innocent lives.
3. Museums of the past displayed accomplishments of artists, scientists, historic skills of ancient civilizations and the beauty of nature. To pay 20 something Dollars to see the remnants of destruction is exploitation of the victims.
I too keep wondering what exactly the creators of the Museum were thinking ? To what purpose exactly is a Museum displaying objects recovered after the attack ? For the same purpose as Holocaust Museums, to keep everyone reminded of horrors human beings were capable of perpetrating ? For what purpose, though ?
The purpose of bringing awareness what ” Ethnocentricity” can result in ? What hate can result in ? What the believe in a people’s ” superiority” can result in ?
So what have we learned from the past ? What was and is the purpose of Holocaust Museums ? What will be the purpose of the 9-11 Museum ? That we no longer believe in the Bible, nor take God’s well meant advice to heart, instead look back at tragedies to use them against our fellow human beings many of whom are innocent of having caused harm, but share the same Religion, nationality and citizenships as those who’ve engaged in horrific acts ?
One would think that in this 21st Century, we’ve become ONE NATION of HUMANITY under GOD, who try to create beauty out of ugliness, not placing a light on ugliness and beauty into the shadow.
A Memorial for the victims, and just that, would have been in good taste
I was delighted learning President George W. Bush did not attend the opening of the 9-11 Museum, with whom i've been seeing eye to eye in many ways, him stating it would have been too overwhelming. A man of God for sure, not looking back at tragedies of the past, instead continuing to look forward to see the beauty that will be.
In God we Trust