Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remembering September 11, 2001

It is so hard to believe that 10 whole years have passed since that day, that sunny Tuesday, that soon turned into the darkest day in the lives of countless people.

No one has to struggle to remember where they were. Everyone has their story about that day. Even now, ten years on, people are still telling those stories when the topic comes up. And it comes up a lot.

It might seem odd, but I often look at little children and think, "You will hear about this day, but you were either too young, or not yet born, and will not know the shock, horror, uncertainty and fear that those of us who remember, remember." Maybe our parents thought the same about us, when it came to the war years. I wonder... 

My Mom was alive for it. Princess Diana wasn't. It's funny how often that little factoid crosses my mind.

Newfoundlanders are lucky, in a way, that we have a story to remember of that day, that is not about doom and horror and death, but about Man's humanity to Man. The kindness, generousity and willingness of the people of Newfoundland to help those thousands of stranded travellers... the stories of those days will never be well-enough documented, and that is a crying shame.

One of the most heartbreaking memories for me was watching TV on the following nights, seeing all those people in New York City holding photos of their loved ones; "Have you seen my brother / mother / son / sister??" In the rubble of two collapsed 100+ storey towers, people still had hope, and it was heartbreaking. WHO could BELIEVE it??

There was no greater moment than the rallying cry of the President of the United States, when he stood on the rubble with his arm around a firefighter and said into a bullhorn, "I hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon." I still get all choked up when I see and hear that video clip. That was America standing up after having been brought to her knees, and it was wonderful to see.

I visited Ground Zero in 2005 with my Dad and my sister Alice. I have photos of the gaping hole in the earth, and the piece of the structure in the shape of a cross that still stood there four years later.

I look forward so much to the day when I can go back to New York City and see that cross again in the 9/11 museum where it will stand, and see the Freedom Tower that will have risen from the ashes, the memorial pools and other evidence of the greatness and resilience of America, that made it such a target of envious, sick, hate-filled and hopeless lost souls, who thought this was their path to God.

God bless America, ten years on. And, God bless everyone whose heart aches a little today, remembering these events. 


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