“Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children. “
- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001
Ten years later..and it seems like everything happened yesterday. I still have this dull ache in my chest when I go downtown and remember the way things were. I still feel my stomach sink when listen to someone talk about where they were on September 11, 2001. I think it's one of those things that, while the rest of the country was able to move on in a small way, New York could never forget. And this weekend, with the terror alert level raised, I've been harshly reminded that 9/11 didn't just change our lives ten years ago...it changed our world forever.
I used to think the most painful thing I'd ever witnessed in the streets of New York were walking by the Missing posters post-9/11...knowing that none of those people were ever coming home. That their families...standing on the street corners giving out posters and checking every list available...would never find peace.
But ten years later, I think the most painful thing is that this has become normalcy. This way of life...with armed guards in subway stations...checkpoints on Madison Avenue...
This is today's New York City. This is my city.
Something about that breaks my heart.
I wandered off to the Second Life WTC Memorial (http://slurl.com/secondlife/New%20York%20NYC/222/17/21). The greeting was interesting.
State Of Liberty: Blissie Boucher, Welcome to New York, home of the Staue of Liberty and the World Trade Center Memorial. We are getting ready for our 9/11 Memorial event this Sunday. Please remove all weapons. You will see 2996 flags all over the streets, there is one for every soul lost that day. The country lets you know where they were from.
Immensely touching. And astonishing to see all of the flags lining the sim streets of NYC. Almost 3,000 lives stolen...cut short...futures and destinies erased in a heartbeat. The memorial with the names was MASSIVE...much like the real one. And the each memorial slate held the names of those that were lost in the WTC ten years ago. The creator of this sim...did an amazing job.
The more I write this, the sadder I get.
The inscription on the Washington Park arch, which is the hub for the 9/11 SL memorial tomorrow speaks volumes:
Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God. — George Washington
So many things I wish were different, but are not. So many things I wish I could erase before I bring children of my own into this world, but cannot.
At the end of the day, all I can truly do today is offer my prayers. I can pray for the fallen from 9/11. I can pray for peace for them...and those they've left behind. I can pray for all of the soldiers that have been lost since September 11, 2011 to today, and I can pray for their families.
And my last prayer is for everyone.
September 11, 2011. We will never forget.