We were only up a few minutes this morning when my daughter turned to me and said, "America was in great tragedy today."
I rubbed the sleep from my eyes and said,"You remember what day this is?"
"That's good. We need to remember... always remember."
She was just a baby when our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. She has no real memory, only the memory of what her parents have told her and what a few teachers have shared.
I was browsing the paper of a local town this week. The paper featured an article on 9-11 memorial services. One service chose to focus on the attacks and remember the lives which were lost. Another service (offered at a church) chose to focus only on the first responders who helped after the attacks and honor their work.
Now we can shop for 9-11 memorial services?
I took a deep breath and kept reading.
The article continued with a further explanation from the "first responder only" service. Their reason for focusing on the first responders was to lessen the emphasis on the tragic events because people "do not want to be reminded of that year after year."
It was at that point that I started talking back (okay, screaming) at the paper. I wanted to take that person and shake some sense into them. I wanted to call that church and ask if they had been misrepresented in the paper. A service can do both- honor the hero and remember the fallen.
Where I come from, churches stand up in silence on Memorial Sunday and host potluck dinners for soldiers and heroes.
Of course, where I come from, the men put guns on the backs of their trucks.
Then I took another deep breath and quit screaming at the paper.
And decided to blog.
First, that person from the paper is right. I don't want to be reminded of "that" year after year. I don't want to be reminded that people died that day. I don't want to be reminded that someone out there hated me and my family enough to crash planes into buildings. I don't want to be reminded that a group of heroes stopped a plane from possibly crashing into The White House by sacrificing their own lives and those around them.
It doesn't really matter what I want. It happened.
Today I am reminded of all of them.
The ones who died in the attacks, all three thousand of them. And the families they left behind.
The firefighters and EMT workers and other first responders who died trying to save them.
And the thousands of soldiers who have died protecting us and keeping "that" from happening again.
It is for them that I want to be reminded. For them, I want to keep their stories and honor alive. For them, I keep telling my child and one day my grandchild of what happened on September 11, 2001.