Friday, September 11, 2009
This mural, which is over 200 feet tall and 135 feet wide, is based on a painting called America's Heart, by Yakov Smirnoff. It was put up at a building standing next to Ground Zero in the early morning hours before the 9/11 '02 Memorial Services. The story of how this mural came to be can be found at Smirnoff's website.
An immigrant from Russia, Smirnoff became an American citizen on July 4, 1986, in a ceremony held at Ellis Island, at the unveiling of the renovated Statue of Liberty. With the rest of us, he watched in horror and grief as the events of September 11, 2001, unfolded. He created America's Heart as an expression of his love for his adopted country.
Smirnoff's words are one of the best expressions I have found of the feelings of patriotism and national loyalty we all felt after 9/11, our country's big wake-up call.
"Seeing the mural at Ground Zero has helped me reaffirm my participation in the American Journey. Once again, we joined together to give each other support and love in the worst of times. That's something about being an American, living in freedom, that no terrorist can take away from us. Our ability to overcome and maintain the real vision of the human spirit." - Yakoff Smirnoff