There are days when the tasks and to-dos of the day fade away and the important things come into focus. Today is one of those days for Americans. Whatever your age, job, religion, or hometown, we are all stopping to remember today. We are remembering 9-11 and the 2,977 who lost their lives that day, 13 years ago.
Most of us can remember where we were and what we were doing. I, for one, was getting ready for my 3rd week of teaching 2nd grade. I was a new teacher and I remember waking up to a phone call from my mother-in-law. She told me to turn on the news. It was early on the West coast in California, but what was happening on the East coast had everyone awake.
I remember turning on the TV and seeing the World Trade Center’s North Tower with smoke streaming from the 93rd-99th floors. I remember watching flames engulfing the floors in the South Tower, my mind reeling with the thoughts of those in the buildings.
Watching the South Tower fall was surreal. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening, that it wasn’t just a movie and that real people were there and real people had just lost their lives. The timeline is vivid in my mind.
Going into work and into my second grade classroom that day was something I never planned for. How do I talk to these 2nd graders about what has just happened-is happening right now? How do I help them process something so far away in their minds, yet close to their heart? Some parents walked their children to class holding them a bit tighter as they hugged them good-bye.
I put all lessons aside that morning and we talked, we processed and we created. I remembered learning in my college classes, that one of the ways children express themselves best is through art. So we drew. We drew pictures and while we drew pictures we talked and we cried.
Looking back now, I realize adults aren’t much different from kids. We need to create, we need to process, we need to talk, and we need to cry. As a nation, as a city, as families and friends, we needed to create a memorial. We needed to build and express ourselves in something that would be lasting. Something that would stand for years and years to come. Something that would honor those who lost their lives, the heroes and the victims of 9-11. We needed something we could visit, gather around, cry, and remember.
The 9-11 memorial is a beautiful reflection
of all that is that day.
This summer, Half a Bubble Out owners, Michael and Kathryn, had the privilege of visiting the 9-11 memorial when they took a business trip to New York City. The snapshots Kathryn took of the names around the reflection pools are a reminder of how fresh and alive these names are to so many family and friends. They are not just names engraved in stone and yet these names remind us they will not be forgotten.
The One World Trade Center is another reminder to me of our need to build. Our need to press on, but not forget, to better our circumstances as well as honor those who came before.
No matter what it is you are doing today, here at Half a Bubble Out, we encourage you to take some time, we encourage you to remember, and we encourage you to create!