Friday, September 11, 2009

A View of Remembrance

Today, my thoughts inevitably turn to fear and hope.

The fear in my mother's voice, a twisted wail of grief, anguish, disbelief, and anger, as she described to me the collapse of the towers: "They fell! The towers are gone! They're gone...they're gone...they're gone...." The hope that the the victims so randomly struck by the swift and sudden chaos, the first responders bravely doing the work we so often forget puts their lives at risk, died bravely and without undue suffering.

The hope that my cousin, who lived in New York at the time and sometimes visited a friend who had a studio in one of the towers, was out of harm's way. The fear that he and his friend had been hurt or had perished. The hope that came with relief as we learned he was nowhere near the madness that was downtown New York City, mixed with the fear grief brings when we learned his friend died in the collapse of the towers.

The hope that thrived in the hearts of people in the Trade Center towers who jumped to their deaths, fearful of the horror of dying in the raging flames surrounding them and facing the fear of unknown suffering as they plunging towards the ground below. The fear in the hearts and minds of the people trapped in the Trade Center towers, in the hallways of the Pentagon, on planes traveling anywhere unsure of what terror was in the skies and hurtling toward the ground and unsuspecting victims, unable to do anything to stop the senseless violence.

The hope of the passengers in the plane that crashed into an open field in Pennsylvania that their inevitable deaths would save others from their fate, that they would not die in vain. The fear they shared of being powerless to save themselves from unspeakable evil.

The hope that today, as we move through our daily routines, we all take some time - even just one moment to remember those we lost on this day. The hope that we all take some time - even just a moment - to help someone in need in remembrance of the loss and to build the hope that we can still have the capacity to love and care for one another, not giving into the fear of distrust and hate that can easily arise after such a catastrophic loss.

Remember the fallen on this National Day of Service and Remembrance. Embrace the hope of a new peace and reject the fear being promoted that to serve is to disgrace the memory of those we lost.

More later, but know that fear breeds contempt. Hope springs eternal.