How we “Reflect” on 9/11

Many Americans still remember clearly the unfolding of horrible events on September 11, 2001. The tragedy has instilled many hard to forget images to all those who witnessed the events unfold either through their TV set or in person. However, it can be said most people who were once glued to the news for days after the tragedy now think of it only rarely or during its anniversary. As for people who were far from the scene or who were very young at the time may not know many details about the tragedy at all. During the wake of tragic events, people readily remember recent tragedies and presume that the world will never be the same again. However, as years and generations pass, daily life goes back to normal for most people and although tragedies are remembered less frequently they do not become forgotten. Meanwhile, political and culturally influenced memorial sites like “Reflect” found in Rosemead California have helped preserve our memories of history for decades to come.

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(Photo by Rosemead City Hall)

 

 

The iconic “Reflect” monument is made up of stainless steel and incorporates an actual damaged I-beam salvaged from the World Trade Center. “Heath Satow’s contemporary sculpture Reflect is composed of 2,976 individual pieces. Each stylized dove silhouette represents a victim lost in the 9/11 terrorist attack on the U.S. in 2001.” (Pool)

I believe the monument’s intention of matching its number of doves to the official 9/11 victim count is to give the viewer a physical point of reference as to what 2,976 can look like. To view and touch the pieces, realizing that each represents a loved one lost is an emotional experience which as the name suggest causes many to reflect on the 2001 tragedy. Each dove is joined together, spiraling upwards to form hands cradling the World Trade Center I-beam. The hands are meant to be symbolic of our human connection to 9/11; it is our past, woven together and united to carry ourselves from adversity the monument asks you to remember the past and reflect on it to strive for a better tomorrow.

It’s essential that we strive to remember past atrocities, and not because learning about them will surely prevent future tragedies from occurring. Instead, the acts of listening, learning and remembering are important steps toward enduring past hardship. Preserving memories of traumatic events also helps validate the people who were personally terrorized by them. The sculpture “Reflect” does all this it validates victims of the 9/11 attacks by the physical matching of doves to its victim count. The sculpture also reminds the public of the tragedy by bringing debris from the atrocity and its very shape symbolizes the rise above from this event.

 

References

Pool, Bob. “Rosemead Honors Victims of 9/11.” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 5 Sept. 2011, articles.latimes.com/2011/sep/05/local/la-me-911-sculpture-20110906.

Rosemead City Hall. “Thank You for Helping Us Build the Memorial.” City of Rosemead : September 11 Memorial , City of Rosemead Newsroom, 10 May 2017, http://www.cityofrosemead.org/index.aspx?page=375.

Isla Vista Peace Pole (SSFD)

There is a worldwide organization now including our very own Isla Vista, the members of which have all planted a peace pole in their community. Our community peace pole lies just outside the Isla Vista Food Co Op is four sided and displays the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” on each side in English. There are tens of thousands of these poles in over 180 countries on every continent. Peace poles are dedicated as monuments to peace. Each pole has four to six sides and each side displays the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” typically in a different language. These poles serve as constant reminders to visualize and pray for world peace not to mention their widespread across all continents and many communities help promote a sense of interconnectedness.

peace pole

In all honesty, I do not know when our own Isla Vista Peace Pole was put up but regardless I think its inherent purpose is to make us reflect on the movement. A peace pole is meant to make us reflect on all the other historical landscapes and events other peace pokes have been put up in. This is to help the public realize that no matter the place or time they were erected in the hope for peace has been the same here in Isla Vista as it has been in the rest of the world.

Peace poles have a long history of being put in university environments further creating ties and revealing similarities to other communities we would otherwise never notice. Peace poles have sprouted in other communities like Hartford county put by a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Their motives for putting up the monument have been expressed as, “Peace is not a passive way of being, it is an active, mindful engagement with the blessings of life the Peace Pole is a simple, elegant reminder of the willingness for peace, offering its prayer to all who might take up the endeavor.”  The message of a peace pole relies on its interconnectedness to its origins and or other locations, any peace pole asks us to reflect on the very first one in Japan and if not this one than another of the literal thousands of historical sites which they can be found in. A peace pole asks many of us reflect on the different environments this message has been propped up in, and not just different environments but different times in history.

Peace Pole Hartford County

Need to find more research on other sites that have erected peace poles. Hopefully will show if how this site being around the world serves as collective effervesce and strengthen its meaning with interconnectedness……….

*Due to lack of research still stuck in limbo between a text based post and an image driven post.

 

Isla Vista Peace Pole (Practice)

There is a worldwide organization now including our very own Isla Vista, the members of which have all planted a peace pole in their community. There are tens of thousands of these poles in over 180 countries on every continent. Peace poles are dedicated as monuments to peace. Each pole has four to six sides and each side displays the message and prayer “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in a different language. Our community peace pole lies just outside the Isla Vista Food Co Op however its four messages of peace are all written in English rather than different languages making it a bit unique among all the others. These poles serve as constant reminders to visualize and pray for world peace.

I never really knew much about the peace poles or the whole project until a couple of weeks ago when I noticed Isla Vista’s very own outside the food Co Op.  As I was walking the aisles of the food Co Op after soon first seeing the peace pole, I began to realize the pole was very simple in the greatest way possible as it was easy to remember. Its message and design was small, plain, and simple however the meaning behind it all was big. Its meaning is so big that, Peace Poles have become one of the most recognized symbols of peace worldwide with more than 240,000 standing across the globe with “May Peace Prevail on Earth” written on each one of their four sides. The 5 words written on each of its side perfectly describe what most of us hope for not just now but for the rest of days to come.