Remembering 9-11

The day seems like a blur … the first word from a counter person at Starbucks, tuning in the car radio where the usually placid voices were now frantic, stunned faces in front of a conference room TV.  Even thousands of miles away, you could feel the dread and terror so many experienced that day in the streets of Manhattan.

Were you sad for the people who died?  That would come later.  That moment, when I stood watching the towers crumble on TV and later that night, seeing the solemn newscasters with a burning NYC skyline as the backdrop, the first thing I felt was fear.  Later, as the awful truth unfolded live in the never-ending news cycle, that gave way to a deep sadness.

Every day Americans struggle with the concept of freedom.  What does this freedom allow us to do?  Can we do as much or as little as we want, can we go anywhere or stay in one place, can we choose a path for our own lives?  Can we mistrust our neighbor, hate our President or be afraid of that man walking down the street who may be different than us in some way?  The answer is yes.  With freedom, you get back what you put in.

Today is a day worth remembering because it’s marked with pain, with loss, with sadness, with fear.  But I can remember also courage, strength and kindness.  Your feelings about this day may be different than mine, your memory may tell you something else completely.  You can choose to remember or choose to forget.  You can flip this coin into the air and let it fall like debris in the streets.  Which side comes up, that depends on you.

MP3: “Lonesome Day” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Blowin’ In The Wind” (live, 1963) by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Daylight Again/Find The Cost Of Freedom” by Crosby, Stills & Nash

YouTube: “My City Of Ruins” by Eddie Vedder

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