On Monday 25th November within Glasgow City Chambers, Brother Moises I. Gomez, Past Master Atlas Pythagoras Lodge, No.10, Grand Historian of The Grand Lodge Of New Jersey, gave a lecture on his experiences of 9/11 in the presence of the Grand Master Mason, Brother William Ramsay McGhee and the Provincial Grand Master, Brother Andrew Mushet.
This event was in the format of a Civic Reception for the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow, followed by a presentation in the ornate and beautiful venue that is the City Chambers. The event was attended by almost 300 of Glasgow's Freemasons with their wives, friends and partners. Representatives from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and the Scottish Ambulance Service were also present to hear the talk on 9/11.
Brother Moises started off by introducing himself and informed the audience that he worked for the Port Authority on George Washington Bridge in New Jersey.
He also worked in the Polland Tunnel under the Hudson River for 11 years and attended the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Despite this, it is the atrocities of 9/11 that will be etched on his mind for the rest of his life as he was one of the first responders to attend the dreadful events of that day.
Brother Gomez spoke to the packed banqueting hall and told them of the harrowing sights of people falling from the building to escape the inferno inside and added that the rescuers were showered with glass as people above broke windows in an effort to escape. He added that the rescuers had no choice but to look up as people were being killed by the bodies falling down from the building.
He described the aftermath of the buildings collapsing and told of the twenty survivors that were pulled from the rubble of the towers, the 343 Firefighters and 23 New York Police that were killed on the day. He also told the hushed capacity audience that sadly, 182 Firefighters and 156 Police Officers have died of related illnesses since.
Some of the other interesting facts provided were that metal girders from the building formed what became known as the World Trade Center Cross. People of all religions came together to pay respects at the cross and grieve together in harmony.
He also informed the room that the bow of The USS New York was built from recovered steel from the World Trade Center.
The Survivor Tree.
In October 2001, a severely damaged tree was discovered at Ground Zero, with snapped roots and burned and broken branches. The tree was removed from the rubble and placed in the care of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
After its recovery and rehabilitation, the tree was returned to the Memorial in 2010. New, smooth limbs extended from the gnarled stumps, creating a visible demarcation between the tree’s past and present. Today, the tree stands as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and rebirth.
Brother Moises also spoke about gold. There was more gold under the World Trade Center than anywhere else due to a Federal Reserve being there. Also stored there were two spare Presidential Cadillacs that were recovered in the aftermath.
After the attacks of September 11, 2001, St. Paul’s Chapel, which sits directly across the street from the World Trade Center site, suffered no physical damage.
On September 12, Lyndon Harris, then a priest on the clergy staff at Trinity and St. Paul’s, arrived at St. Paul’s Chapel expecting major damage. He was amazed to find that the church was without even a pane of glass broken. The exterior of St. Paul’s and its churchyard were covered in debris. After engineers inspected the building and pronounced it sound, cleanup began.
You can see the new One World Trade Center soaring in the background.
If you get the chance to see Brother Gomez doing this lecture it is thoroughly recommended. This article only touches on certain parts of it.
Afterwards, Brother Gomez received a warm round of applause from all in attendance.
The Provincial Grand Master, Brother Andrew Mushet, then presented Brother Gomez with Honorary Membership of the Provincial Grand Lodge Of Glasgow and gave a gift to his wife, Wendy who has accompanied him on this tour of Scotland.
The event was held in aid of Prostate Scotland and organised by the Grand Lodge of Scotland in association with the Provincial Grand Lodge of Glasgow. On the evening, a clinician from the Charity spoke of the research and awareness raising campaigns they had been able to carry out due to the charity being supported by the Freemasons of Scotland. The Provincial Grand Master, Brother Andrew Mushet, also presented a cheque for £2000 to the Lord Provost's Childrens Fund on behalf of the Provincial Grand Lodge to assist some of the most underprivileged children in the City.