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by Aisha [New Trend rep in New York city]

September 13, 2003, was a spectacular 6 1/2 minute celebration of Central Park's 150th Anniversary in New York City. I saw the news report earlier in the daytime on CNN. An Asian man, Cai Guo-Qiang, collaborated with Fireworks by Grucci to display his "Light Cycle". It was a giant ring of fireworks. The artist stated that if bombs can be used to destroy, that they could be used for joyous celebratory occasions, too.

The display began at 7:45pm and then...chaos! At first, I thought it was a construction crew beginning yet another road repair project. My family thought it might be a thunderstorm. I looked out the window and saw people running around screaming and looking up in the evening sky. I see these colorful explosions and remember the earlier news report. Apparently, not many people knew about this fireworks display. The evening news reports stated that the 911 emegency phoneline was inundated with thousands of calls from frightened New Yorkers.
I, too, thought of 9/11 and the sound reminded me of the fright I felt that tragic day.

However, I thought that this display was powerful, frightening, and magnificent all at the same time!

The people interviewed spoke of how angry and frightened they were but, I didn't feel sorry for them. Why? Because when I heard those thunderous explosions, I wondered about my little brothers and sisters in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Palestine who have to endure these scary sounds on a daily basis! The reality for me and the rest of New York City is that this was just a display but, in some parts of the world (Muslim and nonMuslim) little children have to hear, see, and feel the devastating effects of tons of bombs being dropped in their communities - daily! Six minutes of anxiety cannot compare to the devastion going on in the rest of the world.

2003-09-21 Sun 08:52ct