Landmarks are important to sailors as they can represent familiar waters to the skipper. The clock tower on top the Landmark on Main Street has always been a welcome home icon for skippers returning to Manhasset Bay. Execution Rock, Hewlett Point, and the myriad of other landmarks on western Long Island Sound have been part of a sailor's experience for years. Nothing, though, compares to the beauty of leaving Manhasset Bay and seeing the Throgs Neck and Whitestone Bridges framed by a view of Manhattan. That view has been altered forever by the events of the last week. When sailors enter Long Island Sound and look westward, what we expect to see no longer exists. The World Trade Center that has been a source of pride and a landmark for so many who love the sea, has been replaced with billowing smoke that is all that is left after the vicious attack on September 11, 2001. But landmarks, while built of brick and mortar, are but a concept that our minds have allowed us to develop. The World Trade Center was a showcase for American strength and leadership in the world wide financial markets. But it also represented who we are, and what we believe in. It is this American Spirit that cannot be damaged, that no terrorists with their twisted thinking, can take from us. So, while "they" have tried to damage the United States, we will rise to meet the challenge, and we will do so for all who perished in the destruction, and for their families and friends. We will get through this tragedy, with our heads held high. We have no choice.
Your reporter found these two poems that might bring comfort to our readers.
I must go down to the sea again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea's face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
All I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the seagulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife; And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And a quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trip's over.
The sturdy sloop bobs along, Waves licking at the sides.
Its sails filled with lilting breeze
Birthing joy in my sighs.
The scent of kelp and ocean air,
Gulls gliding overhead,
The swish of boat upon the foam,
I slumber in my water bed.
Rejoicing in the shifting ocean,
And the friendships that I find,
The suntanned faces, generous hearts,
Like currents running through my mind
Oh glorious days spent on the water,
When escape is what must be. Sea calls me with its siren song
Come launch and sail!
Be free with me!
Please pray for the victims and their families.