by Arnaud Girard

I recall sailing into New York harbor for the first time. I had crossed the Atlantic single-handed on this little racing sloop. Wood boat. No engine. No radio. And I dropped the anchor at the foot of the World Trade Center. Gigantic crystal cliff.  The amazing feeling that extraordinary things were going to happen.  Later someone let me dock at an abandoned wooden pier on the other side of the Hudson River and I painted my first watercolor in America: This heroic view of downtown Manhattan.

Fifteen years later, when the twin towers were destroyed I dug into my old trunk and unearthed this first painting. We were all sad and angry and the painting of the glorious first day in America went right back into the trunk. But today, when we all remember those who died, I wanted to share it with you because I now realize that, no matter how much I tried to paint a heroic image, in fact I had painted a day that God has made.

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