Friday, March 12, 2010

Bring her to life

LPD-21, Commissioning Day
New York, NY, November 2009

I admit I'm stretching the "under construction" thing a little with this one. But please hear me out.

I was privileged to be in New York the same weekend the U.S. Navy brought its newest ship, the USS New York (LPD-21) to town for its commissioning ceremony. This is a poignantly significant vessel: Her bow is made of steel taken from the wreckage of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks.

It's hard to put into words what it meant, for me and for everyone there, to be standing in her shadow on this brilliantly sunny morning. Just over eight years after a similarly brilliant morning, it was evident just how much had changed since that awful day, and how great nations find a way to move on and grow. (We'll set aside political discussion of the Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns for another day.)

I chatted with a crew member on his way to the ship and thanked him for his and his shipmates' sacrifices. I didn't think he heard it often enough from citizens too focused on their own needs to appreciate the needs of their protectors, and I wanted to make sure he heard it at least once on this day.

I didn't get to spend as much time as I would have liked here, drinking in the spirit of this ship and her crew. It was a long jog back to the hotel, and the day awaited. So I buttoned up the camera and headed back, confident that the construction of a ship, now complete, would enrich the construction of a nation and her people. That last process, of course, is a never-ending one.

Your turn: Constructing a nation and her people. Please discuss.

One more thing: Please follow this link to participate in this week's Thematic Photographic theme, "Under construction".


Cloudia said...

You express my emotion around our service people, and also about the politics of it all (by saying nothing at the moment).

You heart speaks my language.
Shabbat Shalom & Aloha from Hawaii my Friend!

Comfort Spiral

Pamela said...

wow.. you got to see it. I saw a photo in the newspaper. But in person it would be much better.