The Children Of 9/11

I had planned on posting something different today. Then I remembered it was 9/11. How can we forget? Time, and the rush of everyday life,  push even the most compelling,disturbing memories into the background. But not for the families of 9/11. This image is from today’s ceremony at Shanksville, where the loved ones of the heroes of United Flight 93 come annually.  I can not even comprehend the daily struggles, the ongoing grief, they experience.

I didn’t anticipate I would cry today. It started this morning, as I watched children read the names of their mothers or fathers–victims of the Al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center. I thought of a friend of mine, whose brother died on one of those jets, flown so savagely into the Towers, and of her sister-in-law’s children. They now live here in Pittsburgh, and, this week-end, I coincidentally saw this friend. She spoke of how remarkable her sister-in-law is–how brave, and purposeful. It underscores the need for all of us to remember. Remember for our country, yes. For the fallen, yes. But more for the families left behind. So they never feel alone with the pain. Knowing that those losses meant something, and always will, is some solace. 

Like the flag in the photo says: “Our Nation Will Eternally Honor.”

I never saw the film, “United Flight 93,” in the theatre.  Like many, I just couldn’t do it. It was directed by Paul Greeengrass, who was nominated for an Oscar for it. I finally watched the movie a year ago, at home. I was stunned. And awed by the courage those passengers showed. It is hard to watch, but I would urge anyone who hasn’t seen it, to try. Dennis Atkinson, one of our assignment managers, put it best. “Al-Qaeda never counted on the cell phones.”  If they had, that plane would have reached its intended target. They also never counted on the indomitable nature of the human spirit, the need for loved ones to connect, and the willingness of those passengers to sacrifice themselves for a greater good. 

There were so many stories of sacrifice that day–the firefighters, the police officers, office workers, rescue crews, the list goes on. 

It seems so trite to say, but bears repeating. May we all learn from that sacrifice, and never forget it. And try to emulate it in our daily lives.


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