Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dufresne's Charge & Carlisle's Haul

Hope is a good thing,
Maybe the best of things,
And no good thing ever dies.
- Andy Dufresne 

Today is Tunnel to Towers Sunday.  It is among my favorite days of my year.  Every year.

Yet, it is a day that no one connected with it, including the approximately 20,000 participants, wishes had a reason to exist.  

In a world far closer to perfect than the one that is inhabited by us puny mortals, September 11, 2001 would be just another day - the bridge between the 10th and the 12th.  Nothing more.  No reason would exist to honor the sacrifice of 343 members of the FDNY, 37 members of the PAPD of NY/NJ, 23 members of the NYPD, and 8 emergency medical technicians and paramedics from private emergency medical services who died that day while trying to help countless others, most of whom - if not all - were strangers to them.  No reason would exist to honor the memory and to mourn the loss of the innocents who were murdered at the Pentagon, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and on the streets of Lower Manhattan

We do not inhabit such an almost perfect world.  We inhabit this world.  And in this world, due to the actions of its inhabitants, such a reason exists.  

It would be neither a surprise nor a disappointment were this day, annually, a day of great solemnity and sorrow.  However, it is neither.  That this day is not simply a day of remembrance but, also, a day of celebration and a day of great hope and tremendous promise is a testament to the iron will and unbreakable spirit of the Siller Family and to all of the families who walk with them, covering the same ground.  

Today is a day on which those who have suffered an incalculable, grievous wound dwell not on the sorrow that might otherwise consume them. Instead, they focus on the love that they had - and still have - for those who were taken from them fourteen years ago on a singularly beautiful Tuesday morning in September.  A love that still comforts them.  A love that still permits them to hold out hope for a tomorrow that is markedly better to them than yesterday has been.

It is a trait they all share.  It is a trait that they learned from the best - those they loved and lost who loved them right back and who shall remain with them, on this day and on every day for the remainder of their life. 


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