Thursday, September 10, 2009

May their love give us love

Last year, I wrote about how, when I think of 9/11, I choose to remember the love.

The love shown by thousands of rescue workers and ordinary citizens, in NYC, Washington, D.C. and on Flight 93, when they knowingly put their lives at grave risk so that others may live. The love expressed by the many victims who lived for a desperate hour or more after their fate was sealed, and used the last precious minutes of their lives to call loved ones; all that mattered at the end of their lives was the love they created along the way. The loved expressed by victims’ family members, many of whom spent weeks desperately hoping that their loved ones had somehow miraculously been spared. And the love that I witnessed when I emerged from my office building in midtown Manhattan in early afternoon, and indeed throughout America and much of the rest of the world, for months afterward.

And so tomorrow, I will once again think about the manner in which so many people responded to the certain end of their lives by calling their loved ones. Though I hopefully won’t be imperiled myself, I will call or email many of my loved ones that I have been meaning to get back in touch with, and with that small gesture let them know how I feel about them.

I will also recall my Aunt Eileen’s comment to my post about how the heroes of 9/11 and the ensuing months (and indeed years) saved us “from having that day be remembered as one of being simply victims, totally demoralized…. and turned the story into one of great pride in our values as a country and in the bravery and devotion to duty that our people can show.” And I will beam with pride about our values as a country, and how brave and devoted to duty our people can be.

And recalling the timeless words of firefighter Mike Moran, who in October 2001 declared that his brother and his many close friends and crewmates who perished “are not gone, because they are not forgotten,” I will recall all of those ordinary people who lovingly did remarkable things that day so that others may live.

May their love give us love.

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