A Closure of sorts for some…10 years later

A Closure of sorts for some…10 years later

New York, May 1, 2011.  Late last night, a historic announcement was made by President Obama that the whole world watched. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and leader of the terrorist group Al- Qaeda had been killed by special combat troops while he was hiding in a mansion in Pakistan.

I was glued to the TV since 10 p.m. when they’d announced that a grave national security address by the President would be made around 10:30 p.m. Nothing had prepared us to know the rather celebratory news – and once the surprise sank in, it was as though the streets of New York suddenly burst out in some form of disbelief and relief.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/05/02/us-binladen-celebration-idUSTRE7411KV20110502

I headed to Ground Zero around 1:30 a.m. and took several photos, some of which I have placed here, along with two others from an earlier time. It is 4 a.m. now but I couldn’t rest till these were up. What a day…what a surprise….and of course, a closure-of-sorts for many who lost their loved ones that day.

Just two weeks back I was on Tower 7’s topmost floor with Kenneth Lewis – the director of Skidmore Owings Merrill – the architecture firm that is building the Freedom Tower and had also designed Tower 7. It was mind-boggling to tour the construction site and see how the Freedom Tower was being built. Alas, I had forgotten my camera….but the overwhelming feeling, in the giant construction site of the two towers and their surrounding buildings whose destruction had changed the course of western security in many ways, is very hard to describe.

Tonight, throngs of people had gathered around the site, some walking silently towards the site, some younger ones cheering (I will not make value-judgments) since the mastermind of the attack had been put down. The ‘cheerers’ were mostly young 20-somethings who said that they were 10 when the attacks happened and for the last 10 years they had only heard of war and terrorism. It seems  since the death of Hitler (who coincidentally also died on the same day as Bin Laden but 66 years ago), no one’s death has been celebrated with such glee. It was interesting to note that. 

The trigger of the war against terror.

Ground Zero in April 2010. Viewed from the Hilton hotel.

A giant slide near Ground Zero of the 9/11 memorial garden. A metaphorical healing of the gaping wounds.

May 1, 2011. 1:45 a.m. Jubilant crowds gather near Ground Zero to celebrate the fall of Bin Laden.

May 1, 2011. 2:00 a.m. Ground Zero. Patriotic chants fill the air.

More cheering.

Two policemen stand near barricades for crowd control. The financial district of New York had come alive with crowds in the early hours of May 1, 2011

The new Freedom Tower in the backdrop of the crowds.

An impromptu plaque on the side of the memorial exhibition hall placed by a family member of a victim in the 9/11 attacks. (Click to enlarge.)

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Sidetrack: I have started a group on Facebook after I couldn’t take the rants of the moronic Donald Trump anymore. Feel free to join if you believe that media-hungry loudmouths like him should be told to shut their pie-holes, instead of the crazy lies he touts about President Obama:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donald-Trump-SHUT-UP/211505485540897?sk=info

And it was wonderful to see the President himself and SNL comedian Seth Meyers deal with the Donald in their own way with wit, humor and a long-deserved  punch line.

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February 11, 2013 Update: Journalist Phil Bronstein reveals the fate of the Navy SEAL who shot Osama Bin Laden. Besides this being an incredibly engaging article, and a dekko into the ways of the military and the U.S. Government, it is good to see that good journalism is still alive and kicking. Article: The man who killed Osama  is screwed.

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Related Post: This Too Shall Pass

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