Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shoes and Steps

Some ask when do we dance
Hope needs repair faith’s in a trance
Schoolbus window paper heart’s our only chance


Ten years removed from the murder of 2,996 and from the events of the worst, most memorable day of those that I have yet seen I continue to look hopefully for paper hearts wherever I can find them. As someone who did not endure the loss of a loved one(s), I would not pretend to comment upon how well the search for those endearing items goes for anyone who did. Irrespective of how many pairs of shoes each of you may own, your closet does not contain a pair in my size. I cannot walk a single step in yours. Never have. Never will.

Those who did not experience loss directly cannot ever comprehend the significant difference between what this day means to us and what it means to you. For us, it is a day of remembrance. For you it is an above the fold, bold type reminder of a loss for which no reminder is necessary. You have our empathy. It is that which we have to give. You have our regret as well. We wish there was something more we could do - pile all of us (every one of us) into the WABAC Machine perhaps to a time when this date marked not THE DAY but simply the day that served as the bridge between September 10 and September 12. We cannot.

Wilder wrote, "There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning." May all who suffered injury ten years ago this very day and all those who have suffered injury since due to the lingering effects of that day have time today - and every day - to spend some quality time on Wilder's bridge.

We of the human variety mark the passage of time in a way that is unique to each of us. We mourn in a similar fashion. There is no right way or wrong way to do either. Those whose loved ones were murdered on this day a decade ago will spend today perhaps at one of the ceremonies, whether in New York City, in Pennsylvania or at the Pentagon, designed to commemmorate the lives of those lost. The FDNY lost 343 active duty members on September 11, 2001. Today, a group of 37 cyclists comprised chiefly of FDNY members shall arrive at the Pentagon having completed a journey they began several days ago on Long Island's eastern end. The distance covered in their travels? 343 miles.

There is an old saw with which we are all familiar regarding the elixir of time and its effect on wounds. Not all wounds heal at the same pace. Perhaps, although you hope is it not the case, some never heal at all. It seems to me - and perhaps me alone - that only those who sustained a loss directly can ever know how well if at all their particular wound shall ever heal. And if it does, just how steep a price will be paid in terms of scar tissue.

Outwardly, a sign of healing directed to the collective has emerged in Lower Manhattan. At the Tunnel to Towers Run last September, I took two pictures of the progress of the construction


In less than one year remarkable progress has been made on this new building, especially when one considers how brutal the weather was this past winter. As of September 4, 2011 one gazing at the Manhattan skyline saw something where nothing has been for the past decade


A decade after New York City had her heart broke, she has indeed begun to rise again. Here's to hoping that all whose hearts were broken on a Tuesday morning in September a decade ago who do not enjoy the advantage of being constructed out of concrete and steel do so as well.

-AK

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