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We Remember very well
10 year anniversary is rapidly approaching.
Living in NYC, it seems like yesterday that we were heading out the door to work, school or possibly recreation on that glorious September morning. But it wasn't yesterday, it was almost ten years ago. Many changes have occurred in our city, in our country over the past ten years. What has not changed is the outcome of that crystal clear day in September.
As the anniversary approaches, I find myself in a greater state of avoidance than I have ever been in the past. As a native Staten Islander who saw first hand the tragedy and misery of that day, I know how much this day means to so many people. I respect this anniversary because of the amazing courage and strength displayed in the face of uncertainty and of course for many, and untimely death. I am still in awe of those first responders ability to abandon all thoughts of their own safety and run directly into danger thinking only of those in peril. I have spent several September 11ths in thought, prayer and remembrance of those who gave all. This has never been an issue for me, I feel their memories should always be in our hearts.
However, as a New Yorker, I am speechless when I hear and read that this year, as in the years before, so many who survived that day are not invited nor are they truly welcome to the anniversary service as Ground Zero. This is not a day for politicians. This is not a day to work the polls. This is a day for those who remember. For those whose lives will never be the same. For people who have had to reinvent themselves in order to get out of bed each day and be able to live. Parents who thanks to terrorism, have raised their children on their own. First responders who are ill from working tirelessly in toxic areas to recover anything or anyone for the families to hold on to, to bury. This is who we honor, who we respect, who we offer up the day of remembrance to.
For those who were incredibly fortunate enough to have their family members return home that evening, we are grateful, however, we too are scarred. Few people deny this. Where I live, most residents lost someone close to them, a relative, classmate, friend, co worker, neighbor. Almost everyone will tell you where they were, what they were doing, even if they were not at the actual site, it still affected them, We don't need to be reminded with an anniversary and speeches by politicians and celebrities, we remember very well.
I was pregnant with my daughter when the attacks occurred. We often meet children who never knew their parents because their mothers were also pregnant that day. I have had to explain to my daughter what happened, she never saw the Twin Towers from the top of the hill near our house the way the rest of her family had. She only knows pictures. But she knows the respect we give, to the people of that day. To all those affected.
We took our children to the memorial that is near our home. They wandered through it, reading the names, touching it lightly ever so often, with reverance. We answered their questions, we told them stories of the people we knew who were lost that day as we passed their plaques. We told them where we were, how we heard and what we did to get through that day and the days that followed. They know our anger, they know our opinions about what happened. They also know how we will never live with the same security as we did the day before that day with the glorious blue sky ten years ago in September. We remember...very well.