By Sister Jean Stoner, SND
NGO Representative at the United Nations
In New York City two very large square pools, angled diagonally to each other as the two World Trade Center buildings had been, carry the etched names of those who died during the attacks on September 11, 2001. Fountains cascade down the inside walls of these two pools, creating a sense of refreshment and peace that comes only from falling water. Trees surround the pools with greenery and life.
What is special about this new memorial is that the engraved names are not arranged alphabetically but by relationship. The names of those who died in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington DC are in clusters -- co-workers, friends, family, passengers on the same plane, first responders to the attacks -- with their names etched near each other now as they touched each other in life.
The designers of this memorial got it right. What's most important after all is relationship and that's what is being emphasized at the September 11 Memorial. Our work at the United Nations is also one of relationships, inspiring and equipping people for international citizenship. When we work on major global issues of our time such as social protection for all, an end to trafficking in persons, empowerment of women and girls, climate change, we do this because we are in relationship with all peoples across national boundaries. We live in a world community of partnership with each other and with our earth.