Thursday, September 11, 2008

9-11 Reflection

Seven years ago today began as a special day. It was Sarah's first day of preschool. We got up in the morning and focused our attention on her excitement, oblivious to the atrocities raining down on our country. It wasn't until an hour or so after we dropped her off that we began to piece together what was going on. I remember standing in the post office and over hearing conversations of a plane hitting one of the towers, but I was only picking up parts of it so it was unclear. When I returned to my car I turned on the radio to the horror that we were being attacked. I had an appointment at the studio so I was again out of the loop, only this time my heart and my mind were racing with the fear of the unknown. After the appointment I quickly locked up the studio and headed for home. Once again I switched on the radio only to hear the broadcasters horror as the second tower fell. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Growing up in New York, the towers were not only a symbol of strength but as immovable as mountains. My first feelings of loss were toward the buildings themselves until the reports began to roll in of the death toll. For the next 36 hours straight, my wife and I didn't leave the house, standing vigil in front of the TV in disbelief. We finally ventured out the next evening for a candlelight prayer on the steps of St. Mary's. People didn't say much. Every one's eyes were red and tired. The blank stares of emotional exhaustion were on every one's face. The sense that our security and freedom had been ripped out from underneath us filled the air. The path that lay ahead of us never seemed so unclear.
Now, seven years later, the path is visible, only it does not go in the same direction anymore. It made a sharp turn toward a new sense of values. Several times since 9-11-01 the path has come to a screeching halt. It has been my job as a father, a husband, a son, a brother and an American to build a new path each time, without ever forgetting where the path came from. Go forth in peace. -Steve

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