On this anniversary of 9/11, I have been reflecting. I keep hearing "Remember" and "Never Forget". I don't think remembering is enough. That is like being thankful once a year on Thanksgiving. What are you doing? Whether the glass is half full or half empty is moot, if you never drink from it or share it with someone else who thirsts. Do you value your freedom? Do you love your neighbor? Do you pray for your President?
In the last few days, I have vacillated between solemn remembrance and holding back my gag reflex. I try not to be so dang cynical. It has been a bit more difficult the last few days as this anniversary approached. The impetus for this came in the form of an article about broaching the subject of 9/11 with children. There was a tone that gave me the impression that the author felt a bit sorry for himself. Boofrickinhoo. This was a normal guy who watched it unfold on TV. This was a horrific tragedy for our nation. It affected us all in some way or another. It is okay to revisit those thoughts and feelings. I think it is more important to remember that urge to hug your kid and call your mom that you felt that day. Remember how suddenly your neighbor wasn't so annoying. I also think it is imperative to remember that many, many children have always known about that terrible day. Her dad went to work that day and never came home. His mom was on a plane that was overtaken. His uncle left in cammies and combat boots and returned in a flag draped pine box.
There were many emotions that day and the days that followed. My innocence was broken on April 19, 1995 when I walked into my third hour speech class to find out that the Alfred P Murrah building had been bombed, but my heart was broken on 9/11. What I choose to remember is the solidarity I felt on 9/12/2001. It wasn't about who got your vote. It wasn't about how much money you had. It was about Americans holding each other together. People waved their flags and held each others' hands in prayer. They stood in line to give blood. People 2000 miles from ground zero thanked their local first responders. We were numb with pain yet filled with kindness for one another. I hope as a nation we never ever have to feel that pain again. I pray that the kindness, the love, and gratitude that followed is never forgotten.
I welcome your thoughts and recollections. However, I will mercilessly delete inappropriate or offensive comments. Have a nice day!
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