“From Ashes, We Build.” - 9/11 Tribute Painting by Sam Spratt
In 8th grade I was on a class trip about 3 blocks from The Pentagon. We were just getting back into the bus heading to our next DC landmark when a large shadow passed over us—seconds later a low booming crash in the distance, and a massive, unforgettable wave of heat passed through us. What followed was something of a silent blur of our teachers rushing us into the bus, radio speculation as to what was happening, and a class of 8th graders sitting unblinking having no idea what was going on. I was young and the significance of 9/11 was largely lost on me then—but you never forget the feeling of an explosion and the quiet that follows.
Fast forward to today: I wanted to pay tribute to September 11th in painted form showing the new construction of One World Trade Center, not just replacing the twin towers—but literally being built from the wreckage. 10 years later, I felt it necessary to acknowledge the importance of past tragedy in the pursuit of a better future: to remember lives lost while looking to save more, to remember fallen icons as we build new ones, and to remember our mistakes as we pursue perfection.
Rest In Peace to all of the victims directly or indirectly killed by the attacks and my heartfelt sympathies to those who lost loved ones through them.