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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

On Towers and Memories and Bravery

Jean Sexton muses:

On September 11, 2001 at 8:45 am, the New York City skyline was dominated by the two towers of the World Trade Center. Television shows and movies included shots of them to instantly set the location for the audience. These iconic locations were destroyed in acts of terrorism at 8:46 and 9:03 am. Another airplane was crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth plane was crashed into a field, never reaching its hijackers' intended target. Nearly 3,000 people died in these attacks and more than double that were physically hurt. Many more bear the scars of lost loved ones.

It's odd to me how tightly memories are tied to locations. Since ADB, Inc. began its blog, each year I have written the post for September 11. In each previous year I could look at the desk where I sat when I heard the news. My office really didn't change much. It still had its dark wood furniture, its green carpet, its white walls, and the art I had chosen for it. I could look out the window and see the same trees that were there on that day. I worried that moving to a new state, a new town, a new office would perhaps lead to remembering the events less fully.

But as I sit here in my office, hearing cars drive by and the Texas wind whine past the door, the memories of 9/11 are just as intense. I can almost feel the carpet beneath my feet instead of the tile. I can remember the horror and shock of the events. I can remember how time seemed to slow to a crawl. I suspect I am not in a minority of people who recall that day.

What I want to remember is the bravery of people on that day. One reason the death toll was so high was the emergency workers went into buildings to try to save others. One reason it wasn't higher is the passengers of Flight 93 apparently were responsible for the plane not reaching its intended target. I want to think of the bravery of people who lost loved ones that day and who have continued their lives with a void left there. Somehow I want to be worthy of their sacrifices. If I can live my life in a way that I make at least a small difference, then maybe I will.

I remember the people; they deserve that. And so I pause today to truly remember and I hope you do as well.