I was at Ground Zero soon after the fall of the second tower. I had wrapped my shirt around my mouth because it was difficult to breath. I was looking to assure that my son was okay. He went to a high school nearby. I was amazed at how totally silent it all was. I […]
"We must not be enemies," Abraham Lincoln at his First Inaugural Address. Combined photos.
I was at Ground Zero soon after the fall of the second tower. I had wrapped my shirt around my mouth because it was difficult to breath. I was looking to assure that my son was okay. He went to a high school nearby. I was amazed at how totally silent it all was. I speculate now that the powdery material under my feet muffled the sound of everything, almost like snow.
I was and still am the minister of a mission over twenty blocks away from the World Trade Center area. People in our sphere and our church lost family members on that day. Yet I feel, like so many, that every party involved now must review what is fair and what is legal. We need to ask what fellow citizens and owners of private property have a right to do in our city. As emotions rise, I know that some have thought of Lincoln's appeal to the "better angels of our nature" in his first inaugural address. This is always good advice as people move toward divisiveness. A sentence or two before Lincoln closed that speech, he also made this comment, which in retrospect seems even more timely: "We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies." Words evoke emotions which evoke actions. We need to speak with care.Note: Pastor Field's ministry specializes in innovative ways to practice compassion to the poor, abused and unwanted. Field has written several books on his ministry. A Church called Graffiti
tells Field's journey through the turbulent and chaotic days of the Lower East Side.Squat: A Novel
portrays 24 hours of life on the street through the eyes of a homeless man named Squid. Mercy Streets
is the pastor’s reflections on learning to see cities in a different way. His experiences in Berlin, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and mostly New York City bring him to a distinct perspective of ministry in the urban scene. He can be contacted at The Graffiti Church, 212.473.0044 or email@example.com
. We have asked religious leaders with congregations or church affiliates near Ground Zero to respond to Mayor Bloomberg's speeches on religion and religious freedom in the city and the mosque controversies. OpEds do not necessarily reflect the views of A Journey