Monday, October 8, 2012
And We Are Back
When you go to New York, you cannot but be impressed with the disparate types of people who live stacked on top of each other. We stayed with a friend on the upper East Side and it was probably more exceptional when we heard unaccented English.
And today we went to the 9/11 Memorial (above). We walked around and scanned the names, found the brother of a friend of ours and took in the construction straining the sky around us.
And as we read those names, it occurred to me that there is no such thing as an "American" name at Ground Zero. Yeah, a lot of Irish and Italian names, but there were Indian, Chinese, Arabic and Hispanic names all over those panels.
Before going in there, we stopped by the cemetery at Trinity Chapel after giving a prayer inside for peace. Alexander Hamilton and Albert Gallatin - two of America's greatest Treasury secretaries and key figures in the early years of the Republic - are both buried there. They had very different ideas about how to manage the public's finances and what America's role in the world should be.
But they were both immigrants, Hamilton from the West Indies and Gallatin from Switzerland. Immigrants who devoted their lives to America.
Turns out there is no such thing as an American name anywhere.