Symbols of Freedom
From the moment I walked into the lobby I could feel the significance.
I was in high school when the original towers fell, and standing in the place where it happened 15 years later was a truly humbling experience.
Those original towers took years to build and they had been a mainstay in NY for years. Their memory lives on in television and movies, but one devastating act took them down in a matter of hours.
What happened next? It took eight years from the time construction started to the opening of One World Trade Center. Think about that. What came crashing down in one day took over 3000 days to rebuild before it opened.
If you think about it, the same thing can happen in our lives. One event can instantly devastate what we've worked so hard to build. In a moment, something that was a mainstay in our life can be ruined or gone, just like that.
It could be the loss of a friend, a family member, or a dream we chased after. It could be the family pet, the business we've poured our soul into, or the house we've worked so hard to make a home.
Parting ways with any of these things is hard, especially when it's not by choice. It leaves us in disbelief and we're forced to face a new reality, like a bad dream from which we can't wake up. Day by day we slowly acclimate to a new normal, but we know we will never forget the past.
As I look at that picture of the Freedom Tower I feel a sense of pride that we rebuilt, but I also remember a time when that decision wasn't so easy. If you recall, there was large debate on whether or not it should be done.
Our lives are no different. In the weeks and months following the loss of a significant piece of life we question whether or not to rebuild. Sometimes we may even feel guilty for thinking about rebuilding, thinking it could be a sign of disrespect to the past.
I want to encourage you that rebuilding, or building new, can be one of the most beautiful things you will ever experience. Yes, it may bring with it a mix of emotions and challenges, but the picture that awaits on the other end of those challenges and emotions is worth it.
A rebuilt house has immensely more value than the original because of the understanding of loss.
It's a symbol of loss because we remember what we once had, but it's also a symbol of freedom because we know that day by day, we are going to move on, and we are going to make something beautiful with what we still have.