We took the metro probably to the Whitehall Street stop as this was nearest the Staten Island Ferry. Hopping aboard the ferry at the Whitehall Terminal (Manhattan), we rode across the water to the St George Terminal on the island. The day was glorious and we snapped pictures of the Statue of Liberty as the ferry passed near Liberty Island. Crossing the waterway that morning, the twin sentinels of the city's financial district glistened in the skyline. Going and coming on the ferry, we snapped photos of those doomed structures.
Three months later, the writer had just exited the American Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal to find himself confronted by a host of news media people that crowded him about his sentiments concerning the destruction of the Twin Towers only a few hours before. While he pondered whether some fanatical group might be bent on launching a world-shaking conflict or merely seeking to terrorize Americans on the home front, he replied that no race is superior to another and that we as a planetary people must find common ground to resolve differences lest grievances escalate into horrible conflicts.
While 9/11 prompted America's political leaders to step up military conflicts abroad, a sense of over-protectionism settled in that has seen the Patriot Act intrude on the privacy of Americans at home and abroad. But fear and suspicion do not ultimately safeguard a nation, a people or a society. What is required is to build bridges between peoples. Otherwise the fracturing in the end imposes isolation on every member of every society.