Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 11, 2007 - 6 years later

Today is September 11 - a day that will always be remembered as a day that the world as we knew it changed. After you read this - please go to Esmie's blog - there he talks about this also in a moving and caring post which brings tears to my eyes.

Today all over the US and in many parts of the world people will observe a moment of silence at 8:46 am Eastern Daylight Time - NYC time for me. My grandfather used to talk with people and say - "Where were you on Pearl Harbor Day, do you remember that December 7?" And my father would say - "Do you remember where you were in November, the day that Kennedy was shot?" We now have our own "Do you remember.." for our generation. I don't think we really wanted one. But we have it now.

I was in school and we received news that something had happened - it was chaos because no one knew what it was. At first we thought it was a terrible accident, and then the second plane hit and we all realized that it was not an accident but a terrible event - a terrorist attack of surprising and unbelievable brutality.

I knew two people in the building, and about a dozen in the surrounding buildings. No one I knew was killed, but my cousin and others I knew ran through the dust and smoke, one of my family friends carried a co-worker out on his back.

It was terrible - and the terror lastedl. The smell filled NYC for months. The first three days the skies were empty - all flights grounded, and it was an awesome and frightening silence.

For a long time I wouldn't fly anywhere, and refused to go anyplace that I could not, if i had to, walk home from. It was months before I could look at an airplane again and think of getting on it.

That's my story - there are millions of stories. Couragous men and women and young people helping, digging out, comforting. Thousands of people who lived and worked there - businesses which closed, people who lost their jobs. People who lost their fathers, their mothers, their sons and their daughters. And for what? For an idea- an idea that was worth more, to some people, than other people's lives.

And so the world goes. We wander through trying to make sense of it, and look for God, or reason, or sense, or randomness - we look for meaning. But there is only one meaning I can see.

We are more than one - we are here to be with each other. Every death is a tragedy. Every person is me.

If we do not learn to live together, we will surely die together. And so what is the result of 9/11 for everyone? It is Fear. It is War. It is Death and Destruction. It is Loss of Liberty, loss of Freedom, and loss of Hope.

To those who did this there is nothing to say - fanaticism is a disease for which we as yet have no cure.

To those who suffered - who lost loved ones, their lives, their possessions, their minds, their hope- what can we say?

So at 8:46 am EDT we will stand in silence for a minute and hope - hope to remember and hope to do better.

It is all we know.

Jesus said it best- "love one another, as I have loved you." It is all we need. Too bad we haven't learned to do it yet. Perhaps someday we shall.



1 comment:

Kaj said...

Gabe you did an amazing job of putting quite a few of my thoughts into words. Yeah the world changed for us on that day 6 years ago. I was in NYC on March 11 2002 for the ceremonial lighting of the towers. It was a moving experience beyond words. I wasn't there just for that but the timing was right. There is still much to fear by the power brokers. But I believe by loving each other, holding our friends and family close and tight we can weather the storm. Frankl wrote a book called "Man's Search for Meaning" about how people survived the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. They way they did it was to find meaning in the suffering. What the overall meaning of 9/11 will end up being, I don't know but I know that fear still lingers. Not so much about another attack but about the reactions of those in charge and the fear that they still continue to breed. Hopefully next year there will be a change for the better. Time will tell. Wonderful job Gabe!!