Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fate and Destiny

FATE:  the inescapable future, destiny.
DESTINY:  the seeming inevitable course of events.

Wondrous happenings have occurred in our lives: often we have been in the right place at the right time to meet someone very special...to take advantage of a rare opportunity leading to success in selecting the courses at college/university leading to a vocation exemplifying our inborn and learned skills.

However, Life is not always Happiness, Peace and Success.  Consider recent headlines in current events:  Terror in Boston...Bombing Suspect Conscious...Via Rail Terror Plot Suspects in Court.

Recent writings have told you that my son is on assignment, working as a Technical Analyst in New York City.  A few weeks ago I published some impressions he had of this great city.  The following I received from him on Monday, April 1, 2013 and with his permission, I forward his observations.

Today I Will Visit the 9/11 Memorial

As you know, they have a national memorial on the original site of the twin towers.  The actual footprints of the original towers remain and are transformed into a permanent memorial for the 3,000 plus victims, including those aboard the planes themselves.

While admission itself is free, it is a construction site and they can't have it overwhelmed with visitors.  So limited numbers are given out as passes at half-hour intervals.  (And of course, they charge you money for this free pass.)

Nevertheless, I'm not likely to get a better, more convenient opportunity to see the memorial up close and in-person, so I should go while I have the chance.  I ordered a pass for 5:30 today.  And I shall make the arduous two-minute walk over to the site after work on this fine, beautiful day. I do not have a camera with me, but there's nothing in particular I want to photograph;  it is very easy and cheap to visit again.  It has become the “must-see” on a visit to New York City.

(As a side-note, Anthony Perkins' wife was on AA flight 11 and perished on 9/11.  Perkins himself died from AIDS several years ago.)

The entrance is on the south side.  I left my stuff at the office and just walked over, since you can't even carry a pocket knife in there.  They check your pass in three places and you  have to take off  your coat to put that and any bag/purse through the airport style X-ray conveyer and then walk through a detector doorway.

Walking around the site from outside, it seems hard to believe the park-like setting is actually in there.  They've taken the actual footprints of the original towers and turned them into gigantic fountains.  Name plates are around the top, under which is a shallow pool of water around the perimeter.  It plunges twenty-six feet into the pool.  Then in the center of the pool there is another square plunge, for which you cannot see the bottom.

There was a pear tree on the original site, which survived the disaster, albeit damaged.  The NYC Dept.  of Parks “rescued” this poor little tree and nursed it back to health in another location; and in 2010, transplanted it back at the memorial site, where it lives today.  This tree they call...the Survivor Tree.”

The names on the plates around the perimeter are categorized as to where they died, such as Flight 11 or Flight 175 or Flight 93 or Pentagon or World Trade Center as well as several local emergency squads.  While I did not know any of the names, it gets a little emotional when you think about what they represent.

Some years ago, I heard a certain visiting Pastor speak at a church; he spoke of a time he was flying for a meeting at a personally inconvenient time.  He introduced himself to the lady he was seated next to, who introduced herself as a head stewardess, who was only travelling...and not working.  She told a remarkable story that some years later, her daughter had called and would be in town to see her on a certain Tuesday.  But she was booked to fly that day.  So she asked some others who were free if they could fly that day instead.  None were available, until one girl named Cece volunteered.  So she happily changed the schedule and Cece worked Flight 175 in her place. 

Imagine how this lady felt when that flight crashed into the south tower!  “That was my flight,” she exclaimed to the Pastor.  “I should have been on that flight. Some people believe in 'fate', but I don't anymore.  Cece was a Christian and had invited me to her church a few times, but I never went.  She didn't know the plane was going to crash.  I've been tormented with this since 9/11.  I feel like God took one of his own to die in my place, so that I could have a second chance!  That has been so hard for me to live with.” It's not every day that a Pastor hears a story like that.

I had seen Cece's name on the list as a flight attendant, but I couldn't remember the flight when I was there to actually find her name on the memorial.  That was the only name I really knew about.

William Jennings Bryan ~ 41st United States Secretary of State spoke
“Destiny is not a matter of change.  It is a matter of choice.
It is not a thing to be waited for. It is a thing to be achieved.”

Crafted by Merle Baird-Kerr...April 25, 2013
To comment...scroll down...may sign in as “anonymous”
or e-mail...inezkate@gmail.com


  1. I believe in Que Sera...Sera...
    What will be ... will be !
    Its all Beautiful whatever happens to you !
    There is always a reason.

  2. Thank you "anonymous" for your comment...very philosophical and a positive attitude to live by.