Friday, September 08, 2006

Want to Honor 9/11? Go To Work

I penned a column for the paper this week on the subject of a 9/11 national holiday. In short, I am not in favor. Here's a snippet:

Do we really need another holiday? Or would the victims of 9/11 be remembered best by people working, and the stark realization that it was in doing so that our brethren were struck down.

Personally, being "trapped" at work that day was one of the hardest parts about the experience. However, had I not been learning how to properly dress a head-end that day, I would have been denied the sensation of seeing the very same bridges I passed under that morning now draped with messages of hope and American flags.

I would also have been denied the unique experience of finally arriving home and collapsing into my Dearly Befuddled's arms, at last able to weep for the loss. Like most things in my life, good and bad, 9/11 wasn't real until it was shared with her.

That she knew I would need her, that instead of waiting in the house she met me halfway up the sidewalk in a much needed embrace, and that she let me mourn right there for a world that no longer existed as I knew it, reminded me just how much I have always needed her to see me through.

That day also forged a bond between myself and my nephew Jeremy that will no doubt last a lifetime. He was with me when we heard the first news reports, as we talked of hope that it was just a tragic accident, as that hope disappeared when the second plane hit. He was with me when we walked into the conference room and told 15 people they needed to turn on the news right now, and watched them absorb the horror for the first time. He was with me as we drove home in silence, listening to the news on the radio as we passed under all of those bridges.

As a child I never quite understood what adults meant when they talked of knowing exactly where they were and what they were doing when Kennedy was shot. That has all become crystal clear. I remember Sept. 11 in stunning detail, and no doubt will recall it just as well when I'm 90.

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