Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This Day

If one can truly be judged by the company one keeps, then Chris was a darn good guy.  I know this twelve years after his murder because I am surrounded by his people; his wife, his children, his mother and brother, his friends and co-workers.  All of them kind and loving people.  I never met the man, but our paths crossed through common friends who assure me that I would have liked him.  I've seen a video tape or two that seem to confirm this. 

Facebook is alive with remembrances of this day, many of which include photos of the awful moments that preceded Chris's death by air-terror.  These photographs are for most of us, a call not to forget, a visible reminder of the anger we felt that day.  This is how I feel when I see them.  I remember sitting in a room at the East India Club in London, where I was staying when the attacks occurred.  I had only a few hours earlier landed after the overnight flight, and was sleeping off the jet lag before the conference began the next day, when the phone rang.  It was my dinner companion that night, Moondog, calling to tell me that we would not be eating curry as we had planned.  The world had changed.  I turned on the television and remained there--interrupted only by dinner that evening and breakfast the next morning--angrily crying and wondering what it all meant. 

Others see those photos differently; they represent images of murder.  They evoke not anger or retribution, but intense, searing sadness.  What was for the rest of us a day to a day they would rather forget.  It was the worst day of their lives, even if they were too young then to know it.  They are annually reminded of their anguish, 3000 families for whom this day tends not to evoke patriotism, but deep, unyielding torment.  Consider if you will, waking up on the anniversary of the death of a loved one in a car accident, to pictures of the crash scene.  Every year.

Of course this was bigger than a vehicular death. The nation was attacked and changed. We all share in those memories and those feelings, and it is right that we remember and rededicate ourselves to our way of life--which was of course, the real target of the attacks that blue-skied September morning.  There remains though, amid the flags and the resolve and the rhetoric, the quiet sobs of those who just want to close their eyes and make it all go away.  On this day, I cast my lot with them. 


"The Hammer" said...


Mudge said...

Beautifully, thoughtfully written.

BigFred said...

What Mudge said.

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