Friday, September 11, 2009

Every why has a wherefore

We mark a strange anniversary today: it was 8 years ago that the Towers came down, that the Pentagon had a hole blown in it, that a plane was crashed into a field in Pennsylvania. That almost 3,000 people died. Eight years—it seems like just yesterday. Images from that day—and the days that followed are forever etched in the psyches of all Americans. We will all always remember where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news.
My brother lived within walking distance of the towers; he sent me photos of them burning that he took from his kitchen window. His neighborhood was covered in dust for months after. New Yorkers started at any loud noise. My daughter worked for a trading firm whose headquarters were within blocks of the trade center—people her company dealt with died that day. Their families—and all of the others—have had to process their grief under the watchful eye of a nation. I feel such empathy for them.

We will never fully know the “whys and wherefores.” But, hopefully, we have learned something about how we want to be seen and treated by the other occupants of this planet.
It will be the defining moment for my grandson’s generation, like the Kennedy assassination was for mine. I can’t help but wonder what lessons they will take from it. He was nine that year; his school blocked internet access that day—they felt the kids should learn about the events from their parents. He was surprised to see his mom home from work when he got home that day. The preceding spring, the two of them and my son had gone to New York for the day. A picture of the three of them on the Observation deck was on the fridge. He kept staring at it in disbelief when my daughter told him what had happened.
He was full of questions. Questions none of us could really answer…..

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