Alejandro Vigilante and one of the policeman that jumped into the car with them.
Like all of us, I remember the morning of Sep 11, 2001 still quite clearly. Nearly 2000 miles away from New York City in my home in Utah I watched on The Today Show in shock and disbelief as planes crashed into the twin towers. I still cannot fully comprehend what it must have been like to be there in the city I have longed to see for most of my life as the debris from the towers reigned down on the people below.
On that day that began bright and beautiful with blue skies, my friend and artist, Argentinian born Alejandro Vigilante was on his way to the Marriot Hotel where he was painting a mural. Alejandro had just moved to NYC that year often staying with his friend since birth, Hernan Casanova, who was also with him that day.
Alejandro tells me via messaging: “I can NOT believe what going on that day the Tower collapse in front of me and we just jump to protect our self between two cars and one was opened. Hernan open the door and 3 policemen who were there jumped too. We were 5 people inside the car and ALL the dust, stones, cement crush on the car the car safe our life”
Hernan Casanova in the car they took shelter in.
Rather ironically, inside the car is a Quran and a tasbih which are Muslim rosary beads. Also inside the car happens to be a Poloroid camera with which the two photos here were taken with. That is Hernan in the car and Alejandro and one of the policemen who jumped in the car with them. They took shelter at the Saint John School where they were given water and masks.
In the days that followed the only way to be in touch with friends and family here in the US and in Argentina was through emails. Alejandro’s idea to paint the Iworld was born from that day and he became the first artist to painted an email. You can see his art at http://www.emailismyart.com/Site/i-Art_Movement.html.
As we remember all those we lost on that day and all those who worked tirelessly to rescue those buried in the rubble and to pick up the incredible and literal ton of debris let us also take a look at the world around us. At the terrible cost of the innocent lives of soldiers and civilians taken on both sides of the war line since 9/11 in our search for Bin Laden. The tragedies and costs are not exclusive to that one day. May we strive unceasingly to bring about peace and end the wars and fighting. May we see beyond the end of our driveways and may we begin to see each other with new eyes of friendship and compassion.
Peace be with you.
*Poloroid pictures courtesy of Alejandro Vigilante.