Yesterday, the eve of September 11, a remarkable sight was seen by Ben Sturner, CEO of Leverage Agency, a sports marketing company, from his terrace in Long Island City. A gorgeous, multicolored rainbow stretched across the sky over the World Trade Center where Project Zero once stood. Not only did Ben capture the sight but shared it on social media. Because of the timing of the "magical rainbow" over the New York skyline in lower Manhattan, Ben received flood of emails from the media, including ABC, CBS, CNN, Huff Post UK, News 12 NJ, USA Today, and WLLN.
Subsequently, I saw Ben Sturner's photo on Twitter and was mesmerized by the beauty of the colorful rainbow. As I watched the moments of silence and the reading of the names of the 9/11 victims on television, I penned a short poem, superimposed it on Ben's photo, and sent it out to Ben via Twitter.
With a collegial spirit, Ben tweeted out his approval.
I agree with Ben that the symbolism of the magical rainbow on a day filled with the sadness of a time remembered has brought hope to a city of resilient spirits. Although the memories of 9/11 remain seared in the minds of New Yorkers, the new Freedom Tower stands tall as a beacon of hope. The magical rainbow behind provides a sparking, surrealistic backdrop that stretches across the sky and into the hearts of all those around the world.
The tragedy of 9/11 cannot be eradicated but the resiliency of those who witnessed the horrific event in New York City is a testament that freedom does exist and will not be erased from the American spirit.
For educators like me, freedom flows from open waters that connect nations. Freedom lies in the indomitable American dream, in education that opens minds and loosens the ties of cultural differences. It is strengthened by hope for new tomorrows built on faith and truth. Freedom is not bound. It is limitless. It must find a way to fill the air across the globe and be present as a force of strength.
For the youth of today to become productive citizens of tomorrow they need to understand the differences that stand as roadblocks, capture the magical rainbow of hope, and let it guide their journey as learners with understanding hearts and minds open to possibilities.