Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

We are enjoying a beautiful late Summer day here. The sky is impossibly blue, with a few very white clouds. The sun is shining, but the air is cool and comfortable. It is virtually the same weather as it was September 11, 2001.

It makes me slightly sad that gorgeous fall days in September will be forever linked in my mind with that horrific day. At the same time, I feel compelled to remember, and if that's the reminder for me? So be it.

I don't know how it is in the rest of the country, but September 11th in the area around New York City is a very personal tragedy. We are prime commuter territory for NYC, and there were thousands of people who worked in or near the World Trade Center. Everyone I know has at least some personal connection with the tragedy - either they lost a loved one or almost lost a loved one, or they know someone who did. Everywhere you went in the months following, it was almost the only topic of conversation (including a memorable trip to McDonald's, overhearing a really heartbreaking conversation). And the number of stories that were basically, "there but for the grace of God..."; well, it's staggering. Someone had a fight with his wife and missed the train. Someone else was taking their kids to the first day of school (that and the fact that NYC was having a mayoral election that day may have saved many people). My brother-in-law had made the decision months before not to attend a trade show that was on one of the upper floors. What if...?

I believe we have a responsibility to the victims, and the survivors, to remember what happened. How you feel about the War on Terror, politics and politicians and policy - none of that really matters. Thousands of innocent people were killed; many, many of them made a choice to sacrifice themselves for others. Those facts are indisputable. So as you go about your business today, and as the official memorials are buried in the TV schedule, say a little prayer for the families and friends, for the survivors, and for our country. Just take a moment and remember.
(I'm sorry, I don't know the attribution for this picture. I hope they don't mind)

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