I started to write a new tribute to September 11th, and then realized there was no need:for there wasn't anything "new" about the feeling that terrible day evoked. They say time heals all wounds but maybe the phrase should be re-written to say time creates a scab over wounds but if you scratch that surface hard enough, an old fester can pour out painfully.
I can still smell the scent of sorrow; the stench of death; the scary pain of passing through the place the bowels of hell seem to have erupted from when the sky literally fell on New York City's Manhattan eleven years ago.
Still see those two planes slamming into the twin towers in a blaze of terrifying fire and smoke. Still see the horror of people jumping through the windows of skyscrapers you know they could never survive. Still see that thick cloud of deadly toxic ash and rubble everywhere. Still see people dazed, scared running for their lives.
The chaos, the terror, the death, the rage, the courage, the unity, shared sacrifice and heroism.
But I will not indulge the pain; the abject terror that single act of evil madness unleashed in an attempt to cripple this great nation. I will revel in the hope and rebirth which rose from the ashes and rubble and 3000 lost innocent lives. Below is a tribute I wrote, slightly modified, to commemorate the last anniversary and every bit of emotion still has the same level of intensity, sincerity, poignancy, pain and promise of a new positive, hopeful day.
The surface glittered darkly, water cascaded gently as the day faded into dusk and thousands clung to the towering wall of names--some with kisses of farewell, others with light caresses of loving fingers along the bronze name panels, some bowed silently in prayer, while others simply stared and softly cried with grieve still lingering after a decade of unresolved pain and loss.
Different reactions, from people of all colors of the rainbow. ‘White,’ ‘Black,’ ‘Brown.’ Different nationalities of origin; different dialect; different religions but one common denominator. They all shared the same tragedy: 9/11.
Many came to give homage to the 2,983 lives snuffed out in one terrifying, gargantuan act of violence on that fateful day. Honor those gone while clinging tightly to their loved ones still here.
Ground Zero in Manhattan, NYC was a flurry of activities as many came out to the place where their loved ones perished--to connect in spirit. They listened, along with Mayor Bloomberg, as families read the names of those lost. The moment was beyond powerfully poignant.
The President summed up the decade of emotions rung from that single act of madness that spanned three states, "Our character as a nation has not changed...that belief, through test and trials, has only been strengthened."
The World Trade Center Memorial is open to the general public for anyone wishing to visit to pay their respects.
Commemorative ceremonies will be held throughout New York, Washington, Pennsylvania and many other parts of the U.S. and beyond. Including Shanksville, Pennsylvania where the 40 heroes who died on Flight 93, will be remembered.
In Washington, the 184 who perished aboard flight 77, were also honored. The Smithsonian National Museum of American History reportedly held a touching exhibit depicting over 50 objects from the Pentagon, NY and Shanksville, as well as a history from the TSA on how American lives have changed since September 11, 2001.
We had never experienced anything on American soil like this before. 9/11 ushered in a new era of fear, caution, vigilance, rigorous security and a much used word that will forever be at the forefront of our lives. Terrorism.
As a little girl my Mom always said these words to Dad as they tried to feed 7 of us on little money, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger." She didn't have a formal education but she was wiser than Nostradamus! She is right, for New York, along with the rest of the country, has risen from the rubble, ash and despair to stand taller and stronger.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness." So as another day approaches, a new era dawns, let’s hope humility, strength, faith, resilience and courage continue to fortify us as we move forward, conquering our fears, pain and anger. May we rise tomorrow with a new resolve.