I normally don’t get too involved with political and/or patriotic things. About as deep as I go with that is talking about and watching The Veep. Perhaps I stay away from it because there is too much hurt and strife to actually give it any real thought. From the Native Americans being outcasts in their own lands, to slaves being shipped and traded like barrels of grain, to young men being gunned down by wanna-be law enforcers, to a President being disrespected for no other reason than his color (even though most don’t want to admit it)….it hurts too much. So–therefore–I stay away from it all….except for today.
9-11 was probably the most hurtful moment of my life time. I am sure each generation has its own. My parents had Dr. King murdered. Mothers had the Vietnam War stealing their sons. My grandparents had Pearl Harbor waking up the country. But 9-11 for those of us who had not really endured much of anything shook us, tore us, hurt us to our bones. The more years that pass, the quicker it seems to come and go, but it doesn’t hurt any less.
This morning, I stood in silence next to the men and women in uniform I work with watching our Honor Guard remember the attack. Policemen, Firemen, Detectives, Sergeants, Majors, Lieutenants, Administration all stood intermingled in silence as the bell tolled for those we lost–not only on 9-11 but I’m sure for the years after as well. As the Honor Guard stood, saluting in silence, a plane flew overhead. It seemed to linger there above us, hanging just low enough to be heard like thunder rumbling in the near-distance. I looked up and smiled at the irony–at the brass balls of the industry, of the first responders, of the American people. We took the punch on the chin, but we didn’t stop. We couldn’t. Despite the scars and the hurt and the tears of our country, we kept rolling.
It is an indication of what we could be, if we bothered to actually stop picking at the scabs. This is the day I tend to stand straighter and see the flag in a different hue. I tip my proverbial hat to the men and women I work with daily, to the soldiers I know, to the families who endure it all for our sake. My heart beats with more love and less disappointment of the judgement of ourselves. This is the day….I remember.