It's 9-11. Patriots' Day. A Day of Remembering.
I'll stop by church earlier in the day. A tradition... my visits the first 3 anniversaries were to St. Patrick's Cathedral on 5th Avenue in Manhattan... as I had visited St. Pat's on 9-11-01 as fighter jets skimmed the top of the skyline overhead and the Nation waited to know just who had attacked our country that day.
I told my personal story of what it was like in Midtown Manhattan and in the days that followed HERE on the 5th Anniversary.
Absolutely be sure to read the stories of Rick Rescorla -- an incredible man and HERO who saved THOUSANDS of lives that day. HERE. HERE. HERE. HERE.
Be sure to read some of the stories of the 2,996 who died that day. Those that were murdered that day -- many of whom were NYPD and NYFD from our neighborhood and the surrounding communities.
And I get that some people are idealistic -- or perhaps naive -- and want to honor the dead and those who eagerly served on and after 9-11 with good deeds, but that whole day of "service" thing should have been 9-10 or 9-12.
9-11 is a day of mourning. A day to remember those who died. A day to remember that this country was ATTACKED. A day that still evokes the images of mothers and fathers (sons and daughters) leaping to their death; of people screaming to be saved from the smoke that burned their lungs and the fire that burned their skin; of the firefighters who strode to their deaths in those buildings; of the thousands of families who first, wondered, and then had their hearts ripped from them as it became clear that there would be no survivors. It became a macabre ritual to open our suburban paper each morning and read on page 3, "The following remains from the World Trade Center have been identified..." Every day. FOR 13 MONTHS.
Sorry, but as I told a friend who forwarded a suggestion that we all pray to overcome our "petty differences" in the world, I didn't think 2,996 deaths that day (or the tens of thousands that have been murdered worldwide by extremists) to be "petty"... and that it will take me a lot longer than eight years to approach forgiveness. As a Christian I guess I should be working on it, but I'm working on my other imperfections first.
And if anyone has the audacity to tell me that my shirt conveys the wrong message (as had been suggested to one of my sons who wore his shirt earlier this week), I will tell them that not only is it my right to wear it, but they'd be wearing this shirt, too, if they bothered to educate themselves about the enemy. And if you want to know how long these terrorists have been at war with US, see HERE.
We must remember. Never forget.