Glenn was in NYC for radio today and over the weekend he visited Ground Zero for the first time in years – his first visit to the memorial, which opened last fall.
“I found it a disturbing memorial,” Glenn said, “extraordinarily appropriate, but I hated it at the same time.”
Yesterday, Glenn took his kids downtown. They first toured Federal Hall, where George Washington took the oath of office for the first inauguration, gave his inauguration address, and then took everyone down the street to St. Paul’s Church. Glenn explained that St. Paul’s actually owned the field that later became the World Trade Center. “It is the miracle church – the little church that stood,” Glenn said referring to the building having withstood the attacks on 9/11 that took out so many of the surrounding buildings.
“And it was in there that I contend George Washington and our country made a covenant with God,” Glenn explained. “We will be your people if you will be our God.”
Glenn described what it was like visiting the 9/11 Memorial for the first time, and shared his thoughts on the formerly named “Freedom Tower” – which he is less than pleased with. Glenn discussed how World Trade Center 7 was the only building complete thus far, and how his tour guide expressed her thought that they may never be able to complete them because they may never be able to fill them.
He went on to describe how the space where one of the most dangerous buildings use to stand, a building that people had to have hazmat suits on to go into, a W Hotel now stood – open and full of people.
“Meanwhile, the church where we made the covenant was standing there in disarray,” Glenn said.
Glenn was struck by the explanation given by the tour guide as to why St. Paul’s Church was spared during the 9/11 attacks when all of the surrounding buildings were destroys and have their windows blown out. There were a couple of theories: one, a homeless man in the steeple opened a window, which they know now not to be true. The other theory, which is true, is that a tree fell on the church and protected it.
“Oh, it was a tree…” Glen said sarcastically.
The tour guide, who Glenn said was great, didn’t seem to believe it was the “tree” that saved the church any more than Glenn did. She mentioned her faith, and how it was the only thing that allowed her to get through the tragedy of 9/11. She also told Glenn that they are specifically told in their training not to mention God, but unless she could at least say faith she wouldn’t do it.
Church attendance in the United States was at record highs in the days following 9/11, today tour guides at the memorial aren’t allowed to mention God.
“How upside down are we?” Glenn asked the tour guide.
“Pretty upside down,” she responded.