Probably my most memorable experience related to the date of September 11th is getting to go to NY in 2011, to Ground Zero, with a bunch of 10-year-old kids, each one born on that tragic day in 2001. Little did I know when I was watching the fiasco on television news, something like we’ve never seen before, that so many amazing souls were being delivered to planet earth. A blessing, each one of them.
This particular group had been part of a book we published called Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 911. And, as is the tradition to reflect on the positive here at HCI , (and personally as well), working on this book proved to be cathartic for many on staff. We were proud to pass that experience along to our readers. Who knew ten years later I’d be sailing on the Circle Line with this group of “models.”
Naturally, the media wanted to follow up on these kids and see how they were doing. That included media from Europe as well as the US. These kids got photographed (again), written about, and broadcast over the airwaves all around the world. I got to be there to help coordinate their efforts. In between the spells of rain, the air that day felt palpable and my eyes stayed moist. The monument wasn’t finished yet but the cavern where it was being built exuded an odd power.
Here it is a few years later and I can’t help but feel like I gained something tremendously valuable by working with Christine Pisera Naman, the author of Faces of Hope and the mother of Trevor, one of the children born on 9/11. Lemons into lemonade is too pedestrian a term for what this project means but, I’ll settle for that expression now. Lemons are in almost every dish I prepare and turning around an unfortunate experience into a blessing is a lifelong practice, or at least ambition, of mine.
I dedicate this album of photos – which I think might be my best yet – to the souls who departed that day and to the ones that came in. And, to the rest of us in the wings, finding ours.