15 Years Ago

We celebrate and memorialize…

imageSpecial Memories. Milestones. Anniversaries. Events. Experiences. Things we store in our heart and mind. Tragedies. Treasured moments. Births. Deaths. Separations. Coming together.

We hold treasured items that represent something from that previous moment. From a rock where my dad served in Germany, to that cigarette box his brother had during his service in WWII … I have bibles, notepads, books and memorial announcements… Everything connects me to another person.

Solomon said there was a time and a season for everything.  A time to pick up, and a time to lay aside. A time to remember and honor…and at other times I simply keep that memory alive in my heart.

Reading an article about 9/11 this morning about the last of the artifacts from Hangar 17. For the past 6 years pieces of the destruction were distributed across the nation to places where First Responders came from… Did you know they did not find every body that died in the terrorist attack?  This this one sobering quote stopped me…

“That’s where the DNA is. Neither my cousin or anybody else from Squad 1 was ever found, but it’s in that steel,” Hodge said. (Read Article Here)

Hodge was named after his cousin, a firefighter lost in the towers collapse. The steel and concrete pulverized everything it fell on. His comment is thought provoking. If you experience a piece of steel from that day, you are experiencing something that should give you pause. A person’s DNA is found in the creation, construction and destruction in that artifact. Take a somber and reflective moment.

Someone told me that they are now adding this tragedy to American History in High School and the students taking the course of study were not alive when this event happened… This is how far removed into the future we are.

Back in the early 90’s the traveling Vietnam Memorial wall came to our little corner of the world. Humble, Texas. I barely missed the draft season for this war. I knew students from my school who had served. I have a man in my church who was wounded in country. Though I have visited the memorials on the Mall in Washington, DC, there was something special about stopping next to that open field and visiting the traveling memorial late in the night. Sobering.

Through the years I have visited the graves of loved ones and felt the sadness of their passing. Or the monument where a big battle was fought. Won. Or lost. Sobering.

Sunday will be 15 years since 9/11/01. I remember the morning well in Anchorage, AK. The startling news coming across the airwaves. The shut down of all commercial air traffic across the country. The military jets thundering across the skies over our house, breaking the sound barrier as they went on patrol. Sobering memories.

Back in the early 90’s I spent several trips in Manhattan for work. The Tein Towers was a special attraction. One morning I’m down in the basement watching the trains unload deep in the bowels of transportation tunnels under the Towers. One morning I’m on top of one of the Towers having breakfast at the 109th floor and then strolling outside on top of the Tower on the observation deck. One trip I stayed in the Hotel nestled between the Towers that was later torn down because of an underground attack in a parking garages in 1993. 

For a variety of reasons, this weekend makes me want to travel to the new tower and the memorial site… A must do. Soon.





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