I spent some of today thinking about tomorrow, about the anniversary of September 11th. I tried to remember what I’ve written about that day, on the anniversaries since. I looked back and find it odd that with all I’ve written I can find only one small reference to that giant fateful day. That was fifteen years ago and sometimes it feels like this morning, other times I force myself to remember it happened.
All these years later, I’m not so sure what to say, or what I think happened to us. I’m not entirely clear on the beautiful and ugly that came.
I remember the silence of the sky. Stuck in the Arizona desert, away from my family, wanting to get home more than anything I’d ever wanted. I remember my cousin missing. And our friends gone. And the rage. And the unparalleled exuberant joy of the yellow dog who greeted my friend when we finally did get home.
I remember the unity, the commonality among us, the great equalizer that wove us all together.
I still feel that unity sometimes, in some moments, I know for sure it’s not all the way gone.
Rage and fear and anger can bring us together, so can hope and achievement and grace. Like when Neil walked on the moon or when Nelson was set free or in the streets of Chicago on a dark friday night.
We do come together. How and when and under what circumstances remains entirely up to us. That’s one of the things September 11th taught me.
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” — Sandy Dahl (wife of pilot of Flight 93 Jason Dahl)