Every year on this date I take time to remember, grieve, celebrate and honor the many heroes and those that lost their lives on September 11th, 2001. Thirteen years have flown by but the wounds are deep. 2,977 innocent people died on that day and they, as well as their families deserve to be remembered.
In addition, more than 1,400 first responders have also died since 9/11. There are many more that are sick and suffering.
I think it’s important on this day of remembrance to also remember the heroic men and women that have served our country and those that gave their lives in the days since 9/11 to protect our freedoms. To date, more than 8,000 American and Allied soldiers have died in post-9/11 wars.
How will you remember this tragic and historic day?
Here is a link to a list of ways you might participate in the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The photographs I’m sharing here are images I took on the official opening day of the museum at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City on May 21, 2014.
You can see more images I shot that day by clicking here.
A lot has changed in our world since then. Some good, some bad. I can honestly say I don’t feel any safer today than I did immediately after the attacks. I will say though, that I think America needs to be very cautious and not let fear and hate win over reason when it comes to national security and our place in the world. War does not equal justice and war does not always protect us in the way it is intended.
In today’s world, it makes us a bigger target.
I miss the unity I felt in the days and months after 9/11. We came together as a nation then. With all that is happening in this country and around the world, we need that now more than ever.
The funny thing about living in or near a major city is that it seems that everyone that lives there, is too busy to see it. When we visit New York City, even though our primary goal is to see as many Broadway and Off Broadway shows as possible, we also try to get away from Times Square and experience the real New York that tourists don’t often see. We try to explore neighborhoods and restaurants that are new to us, and just enjoy the eclectic vibe the city has to offer. Sure, we do the touristy things too. But when you ask New Yorkers, most have settled into their routine, have their favorite hangouts, and seldom explore the city the way tourists do.
The fact is, when you live in a metropolitan area, you tend to take it for granted. It’s there, you can see it whenever you want but most don’t get out there and explore it. And– God forbid, you do anything at all that tourists would do!
I came to Chicago in April of 1989 for a week-long vacation; and by chance, got a job on the second day of my visit. I didn’t return home for four months– and then, only long enough to pack up my things and move to my new home. I lived in Roscoe Village and then Uptown for nearly five years before moving permanently out to the suburbs. That was twenty five years ago.
Since then (aside from one day spent in the city with visiting family, more than ten years ago) trips to Chicago have been limited to a few hours usually for dinner and a show and very little exploring.
For years, Michael and I have been saying we wanted to spend time seeing Chicago but never have.
So finally this past Labor Day weekend, with family in town, we decided to stay in a hotel and spent three days seeing some of the sights.
We stayed at the beautiful Wyndham Grand Chicago Riverfront (formally Hotel 71) and had a stunning view of the Chicago River.
I wanted to share pictures from our stay in and around the Chicago Loop and lakefront.
At a later date, I’ll post more photos from the Architectural River Cruise and the museums. I realize there is much more to Chicago than what the Loop has to offer. There is a vibrant, neighborhood and cultural identity to explore as well. At least we got a start rediscovering some of the many treasures Chicago has to offer. It took us long enough. What could be more short-sighted than exploring the world while ignoring the riches in your own backyard?