Sunday, September 11, 2011
It's Always There
September 11, 2001. I have not forgotten. It changed everything... or at least it changed how I see everything. Maybe it only brought to the surface convictions and values that were always there.
I remember the fear and grief, the sense of panic about the days ahead, and the anxiety over what else might happen, and I remember the tremendous unity and determination that immediately rose out of the destruction. Everywhere, we were sharing this fierce pride and sense of community, we were bound together in our homes, our neighborhoods, towns, and as a nation. What a blessing we could, and can, be to each other.
Remembering that morning, the days and weeks that followed, certainly brings up sorrow and grief, and even fears, anxiety, I have tried to quell, to overcome. It feels so recent... how is it that ten years have passed?
The day's events were harrowing. It is no exaggeration. Each of us has an account of the day and events, and each of us was affected, changed, moved. Some stories are of heroism, some of loss, some of resolve. Most are simply personal, deeply felt recollections of coping, of feeling touched by tragedy, no matter our proximity to the destruction.
I think about the men and women who served, who ran into the smoke and gave everything to do their work. I think about the men and women who do this everyday. I think about volunteers, and individuals serving in the military... about sacrifice, and dedication. I think about the heartache families feel when they lose someone dear, when things blow apart, and we try to live, with our hearts exposed.
I think about the shadow that was cast over our lives, and I look for light, I look for hope. I look for reason, and instruction... for solutions to the devastation. I look for ways and means of putting things back together, for hanging on, moving forward, keeping faith.
I remember the spontaneity of our will, our unified defiance against terror, tragedy, and oppression. I remember the spontaneous, heartfelt expressions of that unity and pride, that resolve to overcome. I remember the flags, the flowers, the tears, the memorials, the exchange of knowing glances between strangers. I do not like the pain of recalling 9/11, but I love that we resolved to embrace one another, to thrive, to rebuild, to overcome. I love that we were able to reconnect to National pride, and community togetherness.
Normal days are a blessing. I have big dreams, and high hopes, but the normal days are great. I think about running water, soap, safe rides, adventures with friends. I think about having enough, and making do. I think about sharing... space, work, happiness, dinner, ideas. I think about all the good things that have transpired since that day. I think about every good thing achieved, and I think about working together to achieve more. I think about securing more normal days for all of us.
I think about my cousins, the firefighter and the policeman, the teachers. I think about my brother, who has done more than we can say in service to our country. I think about my neighbors, our friends, and how sweet they have made my life. I think about my children... and this is where I break down. I worry about what they fear, what they lost, how the world changed in ways that took something away from their beliefs and ideas about their futures.
I think about my son, and recall his deep, and lasting sorrow, because he could, and does, comprehend the magnitude of the destruction, and I wish I could relieve him of some of that burden. I wish. I wish...
There it is, that tangible grief, the injured place in my heart, where I cannot actually undo the harm, and here is my resolve not to be undone: we will keep moving forward, and we will find the best solutions that we can. I will not forget, but I will not allow the fears and sorrows to direct our course.
Ahead, we have possibilities. We have each other. We have art, and science. We have music. September 11, 2001 will always be there, we carry it with us, because it changed everything, and some things it simply brought to the surface. Let's remember those good things... love, community, service, education, kindness, sincerity, respect, compassion, intelligence.