There is a quotation being volleyed about called, “The Slurry Walls of Life.” I
received it twice now. Once, from someone far away, but a U.S. citizen, and the
second time I read this was in our September church newsletter. Neither time
was an author given credit. This upsets me, almost like I am ‘pirating’ someone’s
thoughts. If you happen to see this, with an author attached, please let me know!
I hope these words will hold something meaningful to give to you, a few days
ahead of the actual Patriots’ Day. This quote comes exactly as I received it, no
editing or changes made.
I think on the actual day of 9/11/14, I will be silent. . .
“As horrific as 9/11 was, it could’ve been even worse if not for a 30 year old
engineering feat. Reaching some 70 feet underground, a 3 foot thick concrete
structure called a ‘slurry wall’ surrounded the base of the World Trade Center
complex. Designed to prevent the Hudson River from flooding the basement,
this wall prevented New York’s subway system from flooding and countless
additional people from dying on September 11, 2001.
A ‘slurry wall’ is constructed by pouring a thick, goopy mixture of powdered
clay and water into a deep, narrow trench. The solution coats the sides,
preventing water and soil from collapsing the trench. Pipes are then inserted
through the slurry, and concrete is pumped into the trench, pushing the slurry
up and out.
At the World Trade Center, the concrete formed such a strong wall that even
two airplanes and the falling towers didn’t fracture it. Part of the ‘slurry wall’
stands at the 9/11 Memorial site, a symbol of resilience.
Sometimes God uses life’s ‘slurry’ to make us stronger than we ever thought
possible. We might wish something yucky hadn’t happened- – until we discover
it was part of what sustained us, making us resilient and enabling us to rise out
of the destruction and death to an awe-inspiring new life.”
This much I could research, that the original ‘slurry walls’ construction, under
the World Trade Center, were supervised by a man named, Arturo Lamberto
Ressi di Cervia. This building supervisor passed away at age 72 in August, 2013.
He lived almost 12 years past that day of sadness, to see this job become the
base of the Memorial. The construction workers need to feel satisfaction in their
awesome work on the ‘slurry walls.’
Arturo Lamberto Ressi di Cervia’s professional crew poured the walls of support
that survived the crashes. Construction supervisor, Mr. di Cervia, must have
felt a little better that his workers’ wall held back further destruction and may
have prevented more deaths. Although, it is nearly impossible to be proud of
your accomplishments, in the midst of death and sorrow. Acknowledgment
to the crew only seems ‘right’ to do, as to ALL the workers who came to the
rescue of the ones injured, helping to unbury the living and the ones who died
on this horrific day. Rescue dogs wore themselves out, helping to find so many
There is a fine article (not containing the above quotation) from a man named,
David W. Dunlap, written about the construction of the ‘slurry walls.’ Dunlap’s
article was published on 9/11/13/ in the New York Times:
“Looking to a Wall that Limited the Devastation of the World Trade Center.”