Saturday, September 13, 2008

Reflections of 9/11


The high blanket of clouds let steams of light cascade through like shimmering waterfalls

Canadian geese announce their passing as they fly in a perfect double V

The air is crisp and cool, refreshing after being washed cleaned by the recent storms

The trees are still clinging to their deep green summer foliage

The fall flowers are in full bloom as living memorials to the summer gone by

It is a day to be grateful for what we have and what we have had

It is a day to remember the sights, sounds and smells of the past

A day to remember the flames and smoke that consumed our innocents

A day to realize our actions and reactions echo through those we know and yet to meet

Today is a day to reach for compassion, respect and peace.


Seven years ago today I drove to work like any other day. Then it was like no other day. Co-workers became family. Family was cherished more then ever. The news flashed with the events in New York. We all raced to the TV to see what had happened. We were misfortunate enough to see the second plane hit the towers. The feelings that went through me were overwhelming. I returned to my desk to answers calls. Yes we were all okay. I stared out my window and suddenly felt like I was just punched hard in the stomach. The wind was knocked out of me and I heard screams and cries. Someone raced by my desk to tell us the tower had collapsed. I knew. I had felt it. Hundred of miles away and I felt them leave this world. In the past I had know when a loved one passed before knowing what had happened. This was the first time it was for people, hundreds of people I didn’t know. Or did I? I stared out of my window contemplating the lost of life, their families, the ripple, the tear it would have on the lives of so many. Then I saw a flash, like some one twisted a large mirror in the sun light. Then there was a white cloud rising. My initial thought was a steam pipe at the Pentagon or Fort Myers had broken. With all of that steam, someone else had to have also lost their life that day…. The beautiful white cloud reached miles into the sky and then turned gray and then black with debris and suet. The huge cloud was a cloud of death that lingered over the Pentagon and the horizon for the rest of the day. It took a week for it to slowly dwindle and release its grip on those below. I watched as helicopters took officials out of the city to somewhere safe. Each one flew over as the radio, delayed for their safety, announced they were taking off. The normally busy skies over head were quite. The constant stream of commuters and visitors in the sky stopped. Our office emptied as people raced home or to find loved ones. The bustling business hub of never ending people and traffic grew silent. To look down on to the streets below and see no one, not a single car or person, just solitary traffic lights changing to pass the time. After hours of watching the building burn on the horizon and calling friends and family to let them know I was okay and to make sure they were too I went home. It was ire driving down completely vacant streets. I worked in a place where there were 80,000 people trying to go home all at once. My usual 20 minute drive took 5 and I passed no one else.

I went home to my then husband who was so upset he was read from head to toe smoking on the porch. He kept repeating he wanted to ‘kill them all’. I asked who. He didn’t know. He just wanted to go kill others in retaliation. Once credit was claimed he knew who his target would be but had no idea how. His rage was now focused and he could do nothing but scream and cry. After a few days I convinced him to go out to eat. I took them to a local Afghani restaurant that we had frequented before. It took a meal talking with the staff that we had talked to before for him to calm down and realize that we, we as a country and to find a more specific target for our retaliation.

There are good hardworking people everywhere and, unfortunately, there are those that would rather destroy what others have worked hard for rather then take responsibility for themselves and work hard to achieve. There are great examples of leaders and humanitarians of nearly very culture and place on this planet we call home. Some came from easy lives and made the decision to be and do better. Some came from very difficult lives with great obstacles to over come whom have achieved greatness striving to make this a better place. No one quite knows why some men become Winston Churchill or Gandhi and others like Hitler. There are ways of raising yourself up that do not put down or destroy others. We were all created to live and share this planet we call home. We need to take care of it and each other. We are all unique and the same. We all have something to contribute, no matter how small or how great. What we do affects those around us. The pebble you drop into the pond of life reflects on you and ripples out to all.

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