Tuesday was September 11. It is a day that we must remember as an event that shook our nation but also brought us together. I find that I cannot get away from the TV when they are broadcasting from the three sites that will forever remind us what happened on that day some 11 years ago.
We as a nation mourn once again the lives that were lost, and we recall the many heroic acts of the day. These acts exemplified what our United States of America is all about — caring for one another.
The 9/11 site in Shanksville, Pa., holds a very special place in my memory and my heart. I have been able to visit that site on two occasions, once on the 10th anniversary of the event. I have also been privileged to visit the site in New York and the Pentagon, all of which brings aches to the heart and tears to the eyes.
I, personally, find the Shanksville site and what happened there to have a stronger hold on me. Those passengers and crew stepped forward and prevented that fourth plane from going on to Washington where it is believed the target would have been the U.S. Capitol. These were folks who stepped up knowing what the likely outcome would be. But even in the face of that they had the courage and strength to go forward to stop those evil ones from a fourth crash that could have taken many more lives. I often wonder, would I have had such courage? Life teaches us that we do not really know what we are capable of until we face the moment that demands our all. So, no, I do not know what my actions would have been .... I don’t know if I would have that courage and strength.
I think it is more than fitting that there are no political events scheduled for this time; let’s again be one, if only for a day.
On reading the morning paper, there was a column regarding the need for remembrance; it included some other information that is somewhat troubling for me. The columnist related the disrespect of citizens visiting the New York City 9/11 site. Coffee cups, soda bottles on the parapets bearing the names of the dead, children sitting on the bronze plaques, splashing water from the waterfalls on faces to cool them in the hot weather, lounging around and spreading picnic lunches on the plaza. Where is the honor and where is the respect from those who visit? Frankly, it appalls me. It is like desecrating a cemetery.
Let’s all continue to remember, and never forget that these sites are sacred ground and must be treated as such.