New York, NY- Last night I closed my eyes on a road somewhere outside Syracuse and woke up in New York City. The tour bus was completely dark and devoid of energy, as it’s against the law to keep the generator running in Manhattan. I groped around in the blackness of my bunk, getting dressed as my eyes adjusted to the slivers of light slicing throug the bus windows. No time for breakfast, I guzzle an energy drink as Blake Bunzel and I step out onto the streets of the Big Apple.
Everywhere, life is bustling around us; delicious aromas assault our olfactory organs while the rods and cones of our eyes are overwhelmed by thousands of passing faces. I am elated by the abundance of civilization that surrounds us. Having no particular destination in mind, we spot an iconic skyscraper in the distance; yes, we are going to the top of the Empire State Buliding.
The six-mile round-trip becomes worth every step as soon as we walk out on to the obesrvation deck of the 86th floor. Facing south, we can see Lady Liberty standing proud as the late-afternoon sun sets ablaze the waters around her. The same waters that welcomed millions of immigrants with the hope of a better life. Immigrants like my mother and father who chose this great nation as their new home, solely so I would have a chance at a life better than what they endured. How I wish to turn their exodus into something that dreams are made of. My brother and I strive to accomplish an endeavor that is worthy of the opportunity our parents afforded us, worthy of them turning their own lives completely upside down… just for us.
My mind’s eye then comes to rest on a spot in the skyline where two glorious towers once stood; towers that were destroyed by the very people our parents hoped to protect us from. It is then, that my own words echo fiercely through my consciousness: failure is not an option.