September 11, 2001 – Part Three

The Ways We Remember – Mary E Latela

You must look at @paulraushenbush and his work on twitter with the WTC Remembrance Project. News reporters – as the people at the towers were told to run away – were rushing into the City, to cover what was happening. One reporter was asked, “Why are you taking pictures?” and he replied, “so that we will remember this day.”

I do remember that day and the days and weeks following very clearly.  A year later, there was a Remembrance Service in NYC, with Mayor Giuliani presiding. During the talk and the music a great wind was stirred up, an incredible hurricane force gale swept through the area. Some people said it must be the lost people, who were determined to be there and to be remembered. If you believe in angels and spiritual events, then this may ring true. So many people were affected by the Tragedies – NYC, D.C., Pennsylvania.

I was thinking about the little children who were orphaned that day, and who are in their teens or early adulthood.  Parents were pulled away, and children were left with an emptiness where  person should have been. You don’t recover from this kind of loss. The best outcome is to learn to remember and to honor the person – all the people – and have some calmness from the realization that these victims gave their lives on an ordinary beautiful September day when this kind of tragedy was NOT meant to happen.

When the small exhibit of the first responders was put up, I took the train to the City, and waited in line to enter the tents. Inside were deliberately larger-than-life photographs of the responders who had died.  The tent was crowded with displays. The photographs were elegant, funny, lovely, and sad. My visit was short, because I became overwhelmed with the loss, and needed to find fresh air.

Tomorrow, when the air is fresh and clean, and we remember, let us think of this as a part of our citizenship, our privilege of living here. When we are not safe, very brave people show up and help; some survive, others do not. But surely, the memory of SO MANY HEROES should give us pause.

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