Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembrance - sadness - and hope!

I shed a few tears today. I asked Doug to put the flag up .... don't think he would have remembered without my "gentle" reminder. It is important to me to acknowledge this anniversary in a public way. That alone is curious, since I usually do not wear my patriotism on my sleeve.

Thousands of words have been written - and will be written - commemorating the 9/11 attacks. Where were you? What did you feel? Did you lose someone? We are among the fortunate souls who do not have a direct human connection to the tragedy. But we are Americans - and all Americans lost on 9/11. Once again, we lost our innocence. Once again, we lost the false sense of security that a vast ocean allows. Once again, we were reminded that freedom is precious and can be lost in a moment. Once again, we have a memory indelibly written on our collective minds.

We had visitors on 9/11 in our dream home in Nevada City, California. Doug was still working, so he got up early to start the coffee and make lunch for himself. He routinely turned on the local NPR radio station - he bounded up the stairs to tell me that two planes had collided over the World Trade Center. We turned on the tv and tuned into CNN - then I remember saying, "That's not the World Trade Center - that's the Pentagon!" In an instant, we went from curiosity to fear - our country was under attack. We were shocked and we were scared.

I spent today doing routine tasks. Tomorrow, we leave on a vacation to Utah and the Grand Canyon. Another item checked off on our personal bucket list! From time to time during the day, I remembered the angst of 9/11. I remembered the thousands of lives lost. I remembered the images that will never be erased from my mind - bodies tumbling through the ashen sky - hands joined - towards imminent death - people running forward, ever forward, through air too thick with ash to breathe.

I spent the best part of my day working on a Halloween costume for Talia, our oldest granddaughter. I smiled a lot thinking how cute she is going to look in her mermaid costume. I shed another few tears remembering the children who will not have parents and grandparents to see them in this year's Halloween costume. At the end of the day, I decided to be hopeful for the future. And, thankful for the opportunity to learn from the past.

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