Remembering 9/11 in a Different Way.

Remembering 9/11 in a Different Way.


As a native New Yorker, I admit I love NYC. Occasionally I would fly into NYC early in the morning. The sun would be coming up, the water would sparkle, and the Twin Towers glowed. I miss them a lot.

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.




Monarch on Hydrangea.



As the sun sets, the sand becomes damp and cool, and I somehow feel more connected to the beach and the sea.



The hills of England. They really look like this!



The amount of life just beneath the soil always surprises me when it springs amazingly above the moist earth.



The early morning or early evenings are my favorite times at the lake. Here at the lake in the Adirondack Mountains, the man made sounds silenced at the end of the day allows you to hear more of nature….the water softly lapping against the dock poles, the occasional duck quack, the sound of the wings of Canada guess flying overhead, and I am often inclined to lean over the dock and make lazy circles in the water, or simply watch the patterns in the water. It is still, but in a different way to the irreverent loudness of everyday living. How often I would almost fall asleep on the dock. It was only the cooling air and the dark that kept me from doing so.


Have you ever been eye to eye with a whale? I have been gifted with the privilege and that awe has never left my soul. If I am asked about a powerful and influential moment in my life, this was huge. I have been on a few whale watches now and I still get chills just remembering them.




No ruby could compete with these. They grow in my yard every summer.


yosemite  calif

Yosemite, California



Wondrous Redwoods……..


One of the two waterfall pools. Each is in the place and is the size of the footprint of the original towers.


This gives one an idea of the scale of the entire Memorial park. Look at the cars on the highway.


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.


Even considering our problems with the leader of Russia, the memorial represents the sadness in the hearts of its citizens and that they hold out the same hopes for peace that we do.


The walkway is made of stones..


Names of the persons killed on 9 11 are inscribed on the base like the Vietnam Memorial wall. LINK   LINK


Located in New Jersey,this is where the Teardrop Memorial stands in relation to the Statue of Liberty and the Twin Towers.

 Humanity must win.





  1. My husband and I, each in different NJ locations, saw the Towers fall. He saw the 2nd plane hit the Tower and could not believe what he had seen. It took him a few seconds to process what was actually before his eyes because as a former member of USAF intelligence he knew that Manhattan was a ‘no fly zone’. Most of northern NJ is higher than lower Manhattan and for weeks the smell and smoke from the burning towers and the rescue operation wafted up toward us. Neither of us could ever get over the sight of seeing the Towers there one minute and gone in the next. Your essay is so eloquent and moving I am going to keep it. Thank you for sharing this with me.

  2. Very timely and so well created, Charisse. Where our eyes rest, thoughts are formed and moments are lived…… In Peace today.
    Thank you.

    • Thanks Victoria. What you said is also so very insightful and true. Lately I feel like I will not live long enough to see the world bask in some semblance of peace……almost as remote as my beloved Cubbies ever winning the world series!

  3. Thanks for some very needed moments of peace and reflection.

  4. Beautifully written and calming to my soul to be reminded that in the midst of such turmoil, we can still find peace in our hearts and beauty in front of our eyes. In the town of Koblenz, Germany, during my vacation, our tour group noticed the American flag flying in this little town on the Rhine River. When we asked why they would be flying our flag, the guide responded that on the day of 9/11, the town wanted to show their solidarity with America, and flew the flag. To this day, it still proudly flies at the mouth of the Moselle and Rhine Rivers.

    • I believe that sometimes Americans are unaware that many lost in the attack were citizens of other countries, so they shared our sorrow as well. These same people long for peace as much as we do. I imagine how touching it had to be to see the American flag flying in another country in solidarity. Wow. Thanks for sharing.

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