This morning, I was awakened by the sounds of heavy equipment working on the road. In a lull between men shouting and the metal clang of the dump truck, I heard the train rumble by and blow its whistle as it chugged along. Just after that, I heard a small plane on its landing approach a quick five minutes from my house at Arnold Palmer Airport.
Instead of being annoyed or bothered by the clamor, I whispered, "Thank you God & Goddess for these sounds. Thank you."
Because I remember living just 45 minutes up the road from D.C. where panic screamed in the streets as the Pentagon was hit by a jet. I remember the phone lines going down in the national emergency and being cut off from my friends and family. I remember wondering what the hell was going on. I remember not being able to call to check on people, but being amazed that thanks to the Internet, friends in Russia and Scotland were sending frantic emails to hear if I was all right. How the world had changed so quickly...
I remember how completely overwhelming the silence of the following days was as planes, for the first time in our history, were grounded. No distant noise of jets and things flying high over my head. I didn't even know until it was silenced, how much air traffic is simply part of the white noise, the symphony of living in a modern age. But, the silence was deafening. Eerie. Foreboding.
Now, I live about 35 minutes away from Shanksville, PA. It's absolutely in the middle of nowhere on the road to nothing. When friends and family visit, we take them to see the crater created when United Flight 93 was driven into the ground like an arrow by brave Americans determined to prevent further damage to their country. Who refused to let their impending doom be meaningless.
Their final resting place is in a field near farms- an all American landscape. Beautiful. Always reverently silent and always you can hear the sound of the wind in your ears as you take in, or try to take in, the sacred atmosphere of heroism. The truth that Human Beings are capable of such glorious acts of selflessness and love. Patriotism. I prefer to remember these acts; these images.
I remember being in class a day after these horrors. Wondering how many of my kids would show up. Being so awed when all of them arrived. College kids eyes wide, heads shaking with disbelief and sadness. Tears. With a large majority of them being from New York and the surrounding areas, trying to determine if their fathers, mothers, family, many of whom worked in the Twin Towers were alive, missing...dead. I remember being one of the few adults who could be there for them as they waited and wondered. I remember hugging all 45 of them as they filed out at the end of the class with a word of encouragement to each. I remember how quietly the world moved along in those few days immediately following.
I remember when the New York skyline looked like this. A sparkling jewel. And, I ache each time I see a movie that captured, without realizing the implication, these twin industrial constellations as a background in a scene. The electric firmament is forever changed. The World Trade Center is no more; existing now only on celluloid.
But, I remember. My son remembers and so now serves our country as an Airman. And, all in America remember in their way. Because, to not remember would mean it was for nothing. And that...that would be a shame.
So, I remember and that's all I can do as I hold hope and work for better and more for all of us. For we are Citizens of The World. And, what happened here in our United States on 9/11/01 did not happen only to us...it happened to all. Because we are all, the profane and the sacred, connected as Human Beings.
Namaste' Till Next Time,
Holly aka She Who Remembers
20 hours ago