Lifetime and the History channels are running these simultaneous tributes of the events of 9/11 today. I thought about watching, remembering…but really—could we ever possibly forget? Is watching it happen all over again going to help us move past what happened that day? Or does it only drag up that old fear, the insecurity of knowing it happened then, and realizing there’s still no reason why it couldn’t happen again today. Michael watched part of the coverage last year with us and now he thinks of New York as probably the most unsafe place to be in the world because bad people fly airplanes into buildings there.
Maybe I’m missing the point of the remembering, though. I know I can be pretty dense sometimes…Maybe it’s more poignant to remember those who lost their lives trying to save others. Not just focusing on the tragedy of so many needless, pointless deaths that day, but rather the love behind the sacrifices made that day. Firefighters, emergency workers, police officers, and the rest—the regular people like you and me that we’ll never really know their stories…who, even knowing they had families waiting for them at home, babies in bellies yet to be born, still faced giving up their own life that day in hopes of trying to save another’s.
Even still, I don’t think I want to watch it all over again. People jumping from windows over 100 stories up. The flames and smoke followed by blinding, choking clouds of dust. People on the street running in fear like they’d never known before in their lives, or staring up in disbelief as the second plane crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center, then even worse, watching the twin towers crumbling down, crushing those unlucky enough to still be inside or on the ground nearby. I think those images are well emblazoned in all of our brains and will remain for a long, long time to come. I don’t need to watch it again to remember.
Today would also be my younger brother’s forty-fourth birthday. He passed away six years ago from diabetes. So I remember and miss him every year along with remembering the bigger, more tragic events of this day. Some years seem to be more emotional than others. Fortunately he blessed our family with his wife, Wendy, and their beautiful daughter, Emily, before he passed. He would be so proud of his Emily who is super smart and sweet. She exudes such kindness and love. And I can’t help but see Tom when I look into her face. She’s definitely a bright spot shining in our family tree. Love you Emily! And we miss you Tom!