Bernie, You Touched Me
I did not know you Bernie. Can I call you Bernie?
Were you married? Did you celebrate your 20th or 25th anniversary? Did you have children? Were you a good father? Were you good friend?
If I do some research I can find out more about you. But that would be later. Here in this park I can only guess.
You must have had your share of cloud nine days just as you would have had pit days.
The full moon peaked through the clouds and the waves in Lake Ontario near Lock 1 of the Welland canal reflected the peek-a-boo moon. the light house of the St. Catharines Marina warned the sailors. Sitting under a weeping willow, just east of Jones Beach, the distant lights of Whitby and Oshawa visible over the horizon, a sense of calm prevailed.
It was an unreal calm that for a few moments pushed the headlines mentioning Georgia, Russia, Kashmir, Occupied Palestine, Musharraf far away.
Few moments? Try 3:30 am! Next morning….er….afternoon, after brunch we headed out to a local bird sanctuary and zoo. In the pond a turtle crept up on a rock and was philosophically musing about the world around. A flock of Canada Geese rested in the shade. Past the pond a sign read Nature Trail. I thought, nature does not trail, we do.
There were weeping willows, oaks, maples, birches on this trail. At the end of this short trail we entered a well manicured small park: a memorial to the 47 Canadians who were killed in the twin tower collapse.
Trees found in Eastern Canada were planted and a plaque in front of each tree mentioned the names – Cynthia Connolly, Albert Alfie William Elmarry, Colin Macarthur…
I stopped at Bernard Mascrenhas, born Karachi, 1950.
I don’t know you Bernie. Your life was extinguished at a ripe age by the dastardly act of a former CIA golden boy Osama bin Laden. He did not know or care that you were on the 97th floor of the North Tower.
After the fall of former USSR, the US desperately wanted an opponent and 9/11 created that opportunity. At the cost of innocent civilian lives like yours and the others whose misfortune it was to be in the twin towers that day, they nearly succeeded in creating an enemy group that could fill the vacuum of the erstwhile bi-polar world. It found willing accomplices in Islamophobes organizations and states.
Whether Osama still sings to Langley, Va. tunes is open to conjectures.
At lock 1, of the Welland Canal I saw BBC Elbe pass through. I could have touched it. It appeared huge, almost 12 stories high. Later I saw it in Lake Ontario, still big, then growing smaller before fading from view. You will always be close to those who love you, even though you have faded from the memory of others.
I am against the loss of a single civilian life at the hands of a deluded individual, an organization or a state. Not knowing you personally I mourn you. May you be peaceful wherever you are. And may the tree planted in your honour thrive.