How will you observe 9/11?
There are two emails circulating right now that relate to the September 11, 2001 terror attack on America. The content of both are worthy of reading and watching, over and over.
The first email is a video "World Trade Center Memorial," narrated by Joe Daniels, president of the National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum.
It begins with the Twin Towers as they stood majestically against a beautiful American blue sky. They were iconic American landmarks that have been relegated to a very tragic moment in this country's history.
I watch "Good Morning" America every weekday. Sept. 11, 2001 was no exception. I sat there as Charlie Gibson and Diane Sawyer began reporting about the first tower being hit by a plane and the cameras panned to the North Tower, smoke billowing out of one huge hole and out of another on a second side. I remember thinking, "What a horrible accident!"
Glued to the television set, it was with the utmost horror as I watched, along with millions of other Americans, as another plane crashed into the South Tower only minutes later. Even I thought at that moment that two planes can't be an accident.
Disbelief only grew when we learned that another plane crashed into the Pentagon and passengers of Flight 93, learning of the three other attacks from cell phone conversations, believed their plane was to be used in another attack on a Washington mark. They heroically tried to take back control of Flight 93 from their hijackers. The plane crashed, killing all on board, in a field in Shanksville, PA.
That day we learned that there were people who hated us so much that they could do such despicable acts of terrorism upon other human beings. It was, and still is, very hard to comprehend.
Tomorrow it is 10 years later. The grisly devastation of the fallen Twin Towers has been painstakingly removed. In place of those two tall giants and the hollow craters they left behind, there are now two magnificent and beautiful memorial pools with cascading water, named "Reflecting Absence."
"This is a place where the world came together on 9/11 and where the world will come together again," says Daniels in the video."
"The memorial is closing a wound that's been open so long. This has been a hole emotionally as well as physically for 10 years," he says.
Every name of every victim of that day, people who lost their lives in the Towers, (the plane passengers, the ground crews of emergency responders, police, fire, medical, rescue, volunteers) is inscribed on plaques that surround the memorial pools and will be revealed to members of their families tomorrow.
24-year-old Kevin Williams worked at the WTC. His mother, Pat Williams says "That's where he had gone to achieve his dreams and also left this world. To see his name permanently engraved there ... I think somber is the only word I could use."
Somber. That is the word and feeling we all should be feeling tomorrow.
Pat Mackes of Effort wrote, "I shall never forget that day when the world joined together in absolute horror of the tragic loss of lives because of a few mad men! We were united then, let us come together again and remember the families that lost their loved ones. As I viewed this video of the memorial, my heart broke and I cried all over again."
The second email is titled, "Fly the Flag."
It asks everyone to join in a Fly the Flag campaign.
"On Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this anniversary of one of our country's worst tragedies. We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
"In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds. Take a moment to think back to how you felt on 9/11 and let those sentiments guide you.
The writer of this email asks each of us to try to fly an American flag of any size on 9/11.
"Honestly, Americans should fly the flag year-round, but if you don't, then at least make it a priority on this day."
Fly a flag. Attend a local 9/11 memorial service tomorrow. Say a prayer for all those lives that were lost that day, and since, as our military men and women have gone on to fight in the War on Terror that began with 9/11. Say a prayer for their families as they mourn the loss of their loved ones. Say a prayer we never see another 9/11.