Monday, October 27, 2008

A Cycling Enthusiast Among 9/11 Victims

I was on Liberty Street in Manhattan the other day.

It is the location for the Tribute WTC Visitor Center where personal stories, artifacts and images from the disaster are on display. The quietness in the room is striking, as visitors look at photos of victims, messages from children, and objects taken from the actual scene. The melancholy tune playing in the background of the Center might just make you break down, even if you knew none of the victims personally.

Now on one corner of the Center, there are these two big walls with well over a thousand photos of 9/11 victims. I can't count them. Its innumerable. Most of them are nameless smiling faces and so many are simply revealing what each one enjoyed doing in their lives, just like the most of us.

A visitor, like me, could spend well over 10 minutes just standing there scanning these photos. They are overwhelming, yes. But could it be possible that you could spot someone you knew, perhaps even remotely? Could you identify someone's photo and relate their life with yours, and appreciate that life is not guaranteed? Or its meaning? Well, you wouldn't know that until you stood there and kept looking.

Which is what I did.

Now on this little corner, on the first wall (of two), there's a photo of a young female.

She appears to be in a Giro bicycle helmet.

On closer inspection, she's looks to be in a cycling jersey as well.

What struck me most was this smile. Just a full blown, innocent, 100 watt smile while perhaps enjoying the simple pleasure of being on a bicycle. Or whatever it was that she was doing when this photograph was taken.

But a nameless face, in the end.

Now that I have gotten to this point of actually taking this photo and displaying it here, curiosity compels me to dig a tad deeper. I don't know if it'll make a difference to anyone at the end of the day, but should we leave such an assemblage of pictures just to sit there on a wall in some museum?

Who was this person? What was her name? And what did she like doing in her life? If its not getting too privy into the life of the deceased, pray tell us some more. If anyone can help out in identifying this 9/11 victim, do post a good comment.


Anonymous said...

Nancy Morgenstern

CRCA's Fall Bear Mountain race is run in her Memory.

NYVelocity/Google should serve you 100 of photos that prove her memory still rides along all the racers there.

More from Google

Anonymous said...

@ Ron : Thank you so much for this post. Nancy was a very fun loving gal.

[AA] said...

Its a very touching post and the tribute center brings tears to my eyes.Thank you for the post!!

Anonymous said...

I have been reading the link about Nancy Morgenstern. What a remarkable attitude toward life, doing what is right and bike racing. I am learning from her. The Twin Trade Towers are gone but monuments of those remembered remain.