Summary: New York has built a beautiful building to replace the fallen Twin Towers. It’s a beautiful memorial to those who have died. And then Gov. George Pataki named it "The Freedom Tower". This sermon examines the symbolism of that tower and it’s application fo
OPEN: Chuck (our worship leader) just sang Alan Jackson’s song which asked where were you when the “world stopped turning”, when the Twin Towers fell 10 years ago. Several of our people were visiting New York City and were trapped at Central Park, unable to tell quite what had happened, or knowing the full extent of the tragedy that took place that day.
This weekend, our nation is memorializing the tragedy that has been remembered by the simple words: “September 11th”
· There are civic events that will remember those who lost their lives that terrible day
· There’s a special worship service at the National Cathedral in Washington DC
· There are will be special worship services in churches across the nation.
· AND there’s the dedication of the new World Trade Center 10 years to the day that the Original World Trade Center was destroyed by evil men on September 11th, 2001
Shortly after the destruction of the twin towers 10 years ago New York debated what to do in the wake of the terrible devastation that occurred that day.
Should they erect a simple memorial? Should they turn the area into a park where people could reflect on the terrible things that had occurred? Or should simply they rebuild the original towers as they had been?
Several plans were circulated, but eventually a man by the name of Daniel Libeskind submitted the most impressive plan.
In its finished form The One World Trade Center would have :
1. A 200 square foot base, almost as wide as the 208 square feet of the original Twin Towers.
2. There will be two glass reflecting pools. These pools are approximately 30 feet below the surface, and are located on the exact locations of the former Twin Towers.
3. Water will cascade over the edges of these pools and will flow over brass plates that have the names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the attacks on September 11, 2001 AND the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing will be inscribed.
4. Under the pools, there will be a museum called the “National September 11 Memorial and Museum.”
5. The top floor of One World Trade Center will be 1,368 feet tall… the same as the original World Trade Center.
6. With its spire, the height of this new “World Trade Center will stand at 1,776 feet - a figure symbolic of the year of the United States Declaration of Independence was signed
The beauty and symbolism of the new structure prompted then Gov. George E. Pataki name it “The Freedom Tower”. It is a fitting memorial to the many police and firemen who gave their lives trying to rescue those who were trapped inside.
But now a question:
What does the Freedom Tower stand for?
Partly, it’s a shrine. A memorial to those who died that day. The names that are etched into those bronze plates are meant to be a reminder of who died that day. Some were victims… some were rescuers. But their names are all important.
But the Freedom Tower was meant to be more than just a shrine. The symbolism that was built into this tower was meant to declare to the world:
America was not destroyed on September 11th
· The Freedom Tower will be bigger, better and stronger than the Twin Towers that it replaced
· In fact, this new Tower will be the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere. They say you’ll be able to see the curvature of the earth from its top floor.
· It’s made of the strongest metal and cement that has ever been used in a building of this type.
· And – most importantly - the Freedom Tower rises as a symbol of life out of the ashes of death.
Also, the designers meant tower to declare that America is a land of Freedom.
That’s the significance of this building being 1776 feet tall.
That’s the importance of the term “Freedom Tower” to describe this structure.
America has always been known as “The land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Do you know where that phrase comes from? It came from one of our most famous patriotic songs:
Rise and sing with me these words:
“O say can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming,
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight
O’er the ramparts we watch’d were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there,
Oh, say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave?”
That’s the declaration of the Freedom Tower.
The Statue of Liberty says much the same. It declares to the world: