It is hard to believe that nine years ago today we watched in horror as planes crashed into the twin towers. A nations remembers, wanting to forget, not the people who died, but the horrific attack on our soil.
For so many families, this is a day filled with so much pain, knowing that the day began as any normal workday does. Grab a quick bite, kiss a loved one good-bye and rush to get to work. It was just another day. I did not lose any loved ones that day, but so many others around me either lost a loved one or knew someone who did. We all remember where we were when the planes hit, what we were doing, and how we reacted. It is a very vivid memory for so many of us.
The last few days, I have read articles about how long one should grieve and how we should neatly tuck it away after a prescribed period of time. Yet, today at the times of the plane crashes, I heard the cannons fired, echoing across the water in honor of those who lost their lives. Even on Facebook and other social sites, people were asked to observe a moment of silence at the specific times. We not only remember, we honor and we grieve, we feel a deep sadness for all those people who died innocently because someone perceived us as an enemy.
As a nation, we all grieved as we witnessed over and over again the towers being hit, as the media played it out. As we watched rescue crews scramble to find survivors, and held our breath as the weakened towers collapsed, taking yet more lives. We prayed, we stood together with strangers and we reached out to our family and friends, we grieved not only the lives of all the victims, but our lives as Americans.
I have visited Ground Zero and I remember feeling short of breath as I walked closer to the site, as if I were being crushed by dozens of people trying to flee the scene. It was an indescribable feeling, especially since we were among only a handful of people on the street. When we arrived at the site, a wave of emotion swept over me, and tears seemed to just well up from inside. I couldn't understand why I was feeling all this sadness, but when we looked around, we found we were not the only ones crying. Men and women all had tears in their eyes, as if the sadness present permeated to the core of our very being. You feel very intensely the devastation that took place on that fateful day.
As I drove today, I noticed flags at half-mast both on municipal buildings and private homes, flying in honor of all those who lost their lives. We have moved beyond those initial days, weeks and months, many who were effected by the events of that day have rebuilt their lives, but still we remember.
Grief is something very tangible and it remains with us for years after a tragedy. Like a nation remembers all those who lost their lives, and pays their respects by remembering and honoring them every year; creating special ways to memorialize all the victims, give comfort to their families and help a nation continue to heal. So to we need to find ways to not only cope with our grief, but also honor and remember our loved ones.
In memory of all those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, grant them eternal rest. For their families, may they find comfort in their memories, the gift of who their loves ones were and what this gift brought to their lives and to always remember the love.
Blessings! and until we meet again.