Knock, Knock…Who’s There?

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New York Times Cover
9/12/01

It is 9/11 at the door. Knocking, knocking at our memory banks, the grief grips our hearts with sorrow and melancholia while indelibly marking our daily lives.  We have gone from shear innocence to shear madness.

9/11 knocks on and on. Yet, as the names are read today by those who lost loved ones to the attack, you can witness how they are a bit better this year than last. You can see that they are alive, calmer and have reached a more peaceful and graceful place with a grief that will never leave them.

9/11 knocks at the door of sorrow. Grief never leaves any of us who have lost loved ones. It is in embedded in our souls. What makes this different is that the loss is in public view. The loss affected the world and our nation.  We mourn with the survivors. I cry with them. The tears stream down my face as I hear the names read.  I know that there but for the grace of god go I. We know that nothing will ever be the same since the attacks of 9/11.

9/11 knocks, today it is very loud, even piercing, yet it is always knocking, isn’t it? There is no way to extinguish what we must see and know and hear. Be alert. Be aware. Be on your toes. If you see something say something. All the rhetoric reminds us of impending danger while our unseen enemies make plans to hurt us. Yet, they can’t hurt us. We are strong. We have continued to live our lives, find joy, seek laughter and picture a good life.

9/11 knocks and knocks and we listen.

I don’t know how many of you have actually gone to the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. Having been a first responder, I had the honor of attending the 10-year anniversary at the site of the memorial. Let me take you in. There are two reflecting pools that imprint the two bases of the World Trade Center Towers. The Towers, 1 and 2 lost many people. Each pool is enclosed in an embryonic essence by a square grey wall where all of the names of those who lost their lives on 9/11 are engraved. The names are clearly seen in alphabetical order specific to the building they died in.  As you look down into the pools, the depth of them seems to be infinite. Sprays of water that waft on the wind often land on the names, as if the memorial is shedding tears for their loss. So many tears are shed.

9/11 it is knocking. Knocking. Can you hear it?

Take a moment. Hear it today. Live your life today. It is all we have.

With love and honor to those who lost their lives on 9/11 and whose lives we remember as we participate in making our world safe again.

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