I remember waking up on Sept. 11th ten years ago. I was in Las Vegas for a sign convention with Kathy. I turned on the television to Good Morning America and instead I saw what looked like a disaster zone. We were confused about what we were seeing because the words at the bottom of the screen didn’t say where this place was and we were trying to figure it out. We said it things like, ‘it looks like New York City, but it can’t be because the Trade Center buildings aren’t there”. Then, we saw the video of the second plane hitting the tower and we sat there in disbelief and horror as we realized what we were watching.
Like many other Americans, we sat fixated on the TV screen, going back and forth between stations trying to understand what had happened, the extent of the unbelievable acts and the meaning behind it all. I tried to reach my brother who worked in Manhattan to see if he was okay. It took hours before I learned he was working out of town that week and he was driving back from Tennessee to be with his family.
We ended up staying in Las Vegas for an extra week because there were no flights out and no rentals cars to be had. Las Vegas was like a ghost town. We sat at the massive pool gardens at the Bellagio most everyday and for the most part there were only a dozen other people there with us. The speakers played music all day long, and one song that repeated what seemed like every 20 minutes was – “God Bless the U.S.A.” by Lee Greenwood. (listen here) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RINqibpWOzQ
Whenever I hear this song I am immediately brought back to that long week and the unspeakable tragedy that occurred that beautiful September morning. I am reminded of the beauty incredible acts of kindness, courage and love we witnessed through the media. We saw people coming together, giving of themselves, praying for people they didn’t even know. We were all touched by this tragedy in one way or another.
I feel fortunate to have not lost anyone on this day that I knew personally. Although, as an American I feel that we all lost someone or something on that day. And of course, we all gained something too. Our reverence for life was brought forward and our thoughts of safety and freedom, even here in the U.S. were brought into question. We looked at each other differently and we gave more thought and caring to our loved ones. Our kisses and hugs were longer and held more meaning and we called our parents more often. Many people re-evaluated what they were doing in their lives and changed their careers and daily actions because of what they recognized as the fragility of human life. Many people went from merely surviving and started truly living each day.
On this ten year anniversary, I pray for all those who lost their brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, mothers and fathers, friends, co-workers and loved ones. I send love and light to everyone who feels fear, hatred, loss or injustice from this day, and I wish for each of them peace as they move forward.
As for me, I will allow this day to remind me of the many freedoms I enjoy. I sit in deep gratitude for all the choices I have available to me in every moment of this beautiful life I am given. I vow to love more freely and openly express my freedoms, because I am alive on this beautiful planet and in this amazing country and have the ability to do so. In this way, I honor those who passed on September 11, 2001, all those who ever lived on this earth and all who are living today.
And on this fine day, my sentiment is just as Lee Greenwood sings in his beautiful song, “God Bless the U.S.A.”
With love and gratitude for all,
Namaste` and Blessings,