Take a moment to reflect on victims of Sept. 11

September 11, 2011

It’s been 10 years. Hard to believe. Ask anyone today what that means and they will know you are talking about 9/11.

It seems like yesterday that the premeditated murder of 3,000 innocent people took place in one horrific moment. It was a day when diabolical evil, I hate to use the word pure next to the word evil, anyway, visited us and rained down its destructive force, changing the makeup of the world as we know it.

The betrayal of life is hard to comprehend as we head into another anniversary. Normally, we go about our daily routines, just as those who were called to a higher power did at that moment.

These souls were ordinary human beings, getting up to go to work that bright, sunny morning. There was nothing unique about them, but they did share a common thread in that they were privileged to live in the United States of America.

They packed their briefcases or lunches and said good-bye to loved ones, husbands, wives and children, and perhaps stooped down to pat the occasional pet on the head.

They rode the subway, the train, walked or drove, with other things on their mind besides their mortality. They didn’t know their stalkers; victims seldom do.

A lot of those who died heroically worked in the Twin Towers, maybe in the dining room chosen for that magnificent view of the city. Traders set up their computers for another day of stocks and rallies. Shops readied to open and subways ran underground.

Firemen just down the street checked their gear and perhaps swapped stories, making small talk as the sun streaked through the buildings.

There was no discrimination the day these people left the world together. It didn’t matter what your station in life was or your experience on this Earth. The youngest victim was just 2 years old; the oldest victim was 85. Over 3,250 children lost a parent that day.

We can look for answers as to why the hatred would run so deep as to cause so much pain and suffering to others. But there are no glasses to put on that would make us see the sense in this tragedy, no matter how warped.

The ancient Greeks had a philosophy that said that the more virtuous a person, the quicker his soul left his body in death and entered heaven. I do believe that on that morning all those innocent souls left the buildings instantly, hand in hand, for a higher place, as did those fellow travelers on planes and on the ground.

On that day, 9/11, I drove through the streets of New Jersey, a state where a great many people commuted into New York. It was my grandson’s birthday. As the news sunk in I noticed homes where cars lined the driveways as they awaited some word.

Later that evening I saw other vehicles sitting empty at the train station; their owners would never return from the city to claim them.

Schools did not let out early; many parents worked at the World Trade Center. Teachers didn’t know who would be coming home for their children.

There is only one way to remember those precious victims in our hearts and deliver a knock-out punch to evil, and that is to keep the remembrance alive.

Take your own moment to reflect for them. There are still around us every day in nature, good deeds and happiness.

Whether you are religious or not, believe in a higher power or a humanist, I would encourage you to read “Meet Me in the Stairwell,” a poem found online that has some solace. This has been excerpted:

“I was in the stairwell of the 23rd floor… I was in the base of the building… I was in all four planes… I was standing next to you when you heard the news…I saw every face…

"I did not place you in the Tower that day. You may not know why. I do….September 11, 2001 was not the end of the journey for you.

“But some day your journey will end.  I will be there for you as well… I will be in the stairwell of your final moment.”

  • Nancy Katz has a degree in creative writing and is the author of the book, "Notes from the Beach." She has written the column Around Town for the Cape Gazette for twenty years. Her style is satirical and deals with all aspects of living in a resort area on Delmarva.

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