I was in New York City the week before the attack, for a marketing conference. On Sunday, September 9, I took the opportunity to sightsee, making the Circle Line Tour to Ellis Island and visiting Lady Liberty. I chose to walk back to my hotel, traveling through the shadows of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. Two days later I watched in horror as the terrorists found their targets.
I returned to the City early November and walked from Grand Central Station to Ground Zero. There were literally thousands of us, heading south, preferring to walk rather than take a taxi. We were sharing where we were from and where we were the day of the attacks. The mood was respectful and reserved, quiet, but still conversational.
As we moved closer to Ground Zero we could smell the odor of burnt... everything. Our conversations quieted. When we got within a few blocks, we began to see manhole covers blown off, debris, destruction. All conversation stopped. Many wept openly, including me. It was hard to breathe, and not just because of the smell and heaviness of the air.
Somewhere between Grand Central and Ground Zero we changed from Americans visiting the site of our Nation's worst attack since Pearl Harbor... to Americans making a pilgrimage to show respect to those who perished.
Now those who make pilgrimage to mecca choose to build a mosque upon what should be for all Americans hallowed ground, ground which is no less holy than the Fields of Gettysburg.
Kill the Ground Zero mosque.