Insights on Travel from Costa Rica Expeditions’ Founder Michael Kaye and his Expert Friends.

September 11. A Different Perspective.

A recurring theme in my life, and in this blog, has been that the greatest value of travel is gaining new perspectives.

It happened again this September 11, when Ed Defrietas of the Five Borough Bike Club took Yolanda and me along with 7 other bicylers on a ride to Bayonne, New Jersey to see  the monument pictured below.

As soon as I saw it, the single tear drop between the two broken towers moved me more than any other September 11 remembrance   I have seen to date.

Then I noticed this plaque.

Then I walked up and read it.

And not a day has gone by since that I have not thought about it at least once.

We’re still in New York. Life has been even more hectic than usual, and I have not had a chance organize my thoughts about this.  But I did want to share the experience, and would love to read how it strikes you.

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8 Comments and 0 Replies

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        • At October 22, 2011
          6:42:19 am
          Meena said:

          Dear Michael , Having been away , I had not checked the site for a while . But what a poignant depiction on the attack ! must say I was surprised that it came from Russia . I had never heard of it . Thanks for showing it .
          Somehow it puts all that grief in a human capsule .

          • At October 03, 2011
            10:38:43 am
            KLM said:

            Michael, as you know terrorism and the fight against it is an issue near and dear to me & my husband. One of his friends has been in jail in the USA for over a decade now because he was an undeclared Cuban spy fighting terrorism against Cuba from within the United States. There are 5 of these men, considered heroes in Cuba, who’ve been languishing in US jails for longer than I’ve been married to my husband. Amnesty International and countless other groups believe they were not granted a fair trail in Miami and that their sentences were unnecessarily harsh considering that none of them had any access to classified information. But by and large most US citizens don’t even know anything about their cases. The Cuban with the shortest sentence, Rene, is finally due for release on parole this Friday. But they’re not allowing him to come back to Cuba yet. He has to first do his parole (several years of it) in the USA. Where in the USA you ask? Well, Miami, of course, where he will most certainly be warmly and safely received by a loving public, right? It just makes me sick.

            The perspective of some citizens in the USA is sadly distorted and the truth/irony of who’s behind terrorism often hidden or warped by the media giants. Unfortunately that even extends to Canada in the north, as you know from a certain political situation that’s affecting us right now. I don’t think there’s any hipocrisy whatsoever in the monument as Katz Marcy seems to suggest below, and find it unfortunate that this would be the kind of comment that this beautiful gesture would elicit.

            I agree that travel has the potential to promote a greater understanding of exactly these kinds of issues and fervently hope that those who are privileged enough travel make sure to keep their eyes and ears open while they do so in order that they might return home with not just pretty pictures but also form opinions based on more varied and balanced information. Probe deeper, scratch below the surface, don’t just accept what’s fed to you because it very well may not have much to do with what’s really happening out there.

            • At September 30, 2011
              9:53:39 am
              Katz Marcy said:

              Hi, I think the monument is fantasic. However, sadly, I cannot read the first plaque. Is it in russian on our left and english on the right?

              If it’s from Russia, then I am surprised at how hypocritical they are. They terrorize their own people! And I don’t mean their mafia, I mean their government.
              Marcy Katz

              • At September 30, 2011
                3:01:51 am
                Chris Parrott said:

                Simple, eloquent moving.

                The first few times I went to La Paz (Bolivia) they had a “statue” commemorating the War of the Chaco (1932-35) which the Bolivians lost (I’m summarising).

                It was at a junction in the heart of the city, and anyone walking or driving would not fail to see it. This was no defiant rambo urging his men on to gloroius victory.

                A dead soldier was slumped over a rock, his face in rictus, his hand still gripping his rifle. The bluntest and most moving piece of sculpture I’ve ever seen.

                But a subsequent government/city council took it away. They clearly thouught it far too defeatist a symbol to have in such a prominent place.


                • Thank you! I had no idea what to expect from your tweet but this is such an inspiration.