Byline: David Charters
THE dream came first, scattering its seeds across the cobbled quays of the growing port. And the seeds were the people from many lands, separated by their gods, their costumes and their languages.
But they were bonded as one in their desire to cast off the old ways and to reach together in faith for a new beginning, free from fear and hunger and persecution.
Yes, it was a dream, the biggest the world had ever known.
And it has given the great Atlantic cities of Liverpool and New York a common heritage, which matured into a culture of history, humour and song that can never be broken.
Both were havens for the dispossessed. Both gave those dispossessed people a place in the world and a sense of belonging. And the people from the two ports, who had seen so much, became tough, proud, quicktongued, at once cynical and sentimental. This set them aside from the mainstream of their countries, making them entertaining, a little arrogant maybe, defiant, wary of authority; and always conscious of what went before, those memories left in the lands of their ancestors.
To be a New Yorker or to be a Liverpudlian is to be different. Perhaps their citizens have more in common with each other than they do with their fellow countrymen.
So today, when the world remembers those who died in the attacks on the World Trade Center, emotions distilled in an ancestral understanding, as well as natural affection and sympathy, will cross 3,500 miles of …