To my readers…..I wrote this post to be published on the 13th anniversary of 9/11. I just couldn’t press the publish button that day. As I came back, and reread it, I realized that I should, in view of world events, let the post stand on its own as a reminder to all of us…. that life is precious, it is fleeting, and how seemingly even more rare and elusive, is real peace in the world. Of course we all remember where we were that day of infamy. Shock, horror and a change forever in the character of how Americans would conduct their day to day lives. This year there are children now turning 13 who were not even born that day, and who have always lived their lives under the now new scrutiny of keener security that runs through our culture, including their schools, our workplaces, our airports and even through our personal devices. The world is such a different place, and America is especially struggling to come to grips with balancing personal freedom with the security of the nation as a whole. I miss the days of getting to the airport just minutes, not hours, before a flight and literally running to the gate, breathless as I shoved my briefcase in the overhead bin and then blissfully looking out at the puffy clouds or the sunrise or sunset. September 11th was a horrible day, not just because of the loss of life, but for how it has permanently affected our entire nation. The way it happened seems almost cast out of a action adventure novel, not a real life event. It challenged our ability to reasonably accept or understand and absorb that such a plot could ever transpire, and to this day we are still stupefied by its actuality. Many more lives were lost in Tsunamis, in earthquakes, in wars across the globe, yet to a degree we understand and expect these events to be an accepted part of living on this planet. So when 9/11 arrives this year, I speak a silent prayer for those lost, but I return to a place that brings me peace, and a reminder that I will continue to appreciate the good parts of living on this earth. That place is in nature. With all that is happening in the world, I need to revisit this place to restore my sense of balance, more now than ever. Empathy and compassion can weigh heavily on the spirit, enough so that one can easily be left without appreciation for the good. One of the gardens on our horse farm was a memory garden we planted in memory of the children of Sarajevo. I had gotten so wounded in my spirit that children were targeted here and elsewhere in the world, that I wanted a place to reflect. It was beautiful, and consisted of Yoshino Cherry trees planted in a circle at the bottom of a round berm. In the center was a rose garden. It became not only our favorite place to go and read or sit with the dogs, but a place that the many visitors to the farm would walk through as well. We had a small plaque that simply said…….”For the children”.
So today, I will head to my gardens here, and also spend some time down by the reservoir at the end of my street, and reflect in these places as a way to honor the memory of those lost, and to hope that collectively, the families left behind can go to a place in their hearts and remember their lost loved ones with more smiles now than tears.
Below are a few photos of another memorial to 9/11 that you may not be as familiar with.
This is the “TEAR DROP” Memorial, a gift to Americans from the people of Russia. The monument, which is in New Jersey, is a ”Monument to the struggle against world terrorism.” The artist is Zurab Tesereteii, who conceived of it the day the twin towers fell. He was inspired after watching Russian citizens break down in tears in his country, as well as those in America. It was built in Russia, then brought to the US and erected by the artist and Russian citizens in honor of those lost on 9/11. It is 10 stories tall, and the tear is made of stainless steel. It was dedicated in 2006 with President Bill Clinton speaking quite eloquently.
The walkway is made of stones..
Humanity must win.