Friday, September 11, 2009

My Heart is Heavy

-At Ground Zero

Today, as I was reading reports and remembrances of 9/11/2001 on the National Public Radio web site, my heart was so full that the expression "a heavy heart" became very real to me. I was filled with sadness as I remembered the tremendous loss of so many lives, the suffering of their families, and the continued struggles, both physical and emotional, of the people who helped. It was, in a way, a day when a generation lost it's sense of innocence. I shudder that my family was on a vacation in New York City just a few short months before the airplanes were flown into the Twin Towers. This summer while I was in Washington D.C. I realized, while standing at the top of Arlington National Cemetery, how very close the Pentagon is to the Capitol and where I was standing. And now our daughter lives in Pennsylvania, not far from Shankesville, where the fourth plane crashed, in an heroic act to save our nations Capitol.

And yet, along with the sorrow, there is hope and faith in my heart. A hope that people will learn to live together in peace, despite their different beliefs, and treat others with civility and compassion. I also have faith, that this country will continue to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. A place where we care about the welfare of people, whether near or far, and do what we can to help them. Declaring this day as a day of service is a wonderful way to honor those who lost their lives eight years ago. More important to me though, is that we hold this day sacred to the memories of those who died, those that survived, and those who continue to serve and fight and die to keep another attack like this from happening again.

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