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Out of the abyss there is a cry in the dark.
It starts softly, faintly
Piercing the silence.
It grows louder
It seems to come closer
Until it becomes a deafening scream.
Then it passes
Fading to a whimper
Another visit of that nightmare gone
Then just silence.
This is my memory. This is my grief. This is my mourning.
Friday morning, I stood alone in a field of flags. Crying. Remembering. I was surrounded by 2,976 American flags blowing gently in the breeze.
3051 children lost a parent that day. Their average age was 9 years old.
I walked through rows and rows of flags in a field of rain soaked grass, I began reading the markers: citizens, police officers, firefighters…. and their ages…. 34, 41, 32… 21.
21. Lukasz Milewski.
Lukasz immigrated to America from Poland in July– just two months before. His parents came one year earlier, leaving their two children behind to finish school while they prepared a new home for them in the land of opportunity. When he arrived, Lukasz immediately found a summer job working in food service for Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center. A start of a new life. America.
Only two short months. His American Dream was cut short. Stolen from him.
This is just one story. One heartbreaking story– of many– that would not reach their natural conclusion. His opportunity, his voice, his life– silenced.
The passing of fifteen years has done little to take away the great empathy and sadness I feel for the many lives lost on September 11th, 2001. My heart goes out to the families whose futures were forever changed– whose hopes and dreams were so unexpectedly taken from them.
Life goes on.
I pray that they have found peace.
I pray that they have achieved some level of happiness.
Life goes on.
We will always remember.
But life goes on.
These are the stories we must tell. We can’t be silent. We must be the storytellers. Stories of hopes and dreams. We must honor them by passing down their stories of courage. We will never forget.
To All My Friends:
I take you with me.
Though we may not share every moment of our lives,
Though years may pass without our sharing a single day,
I take you with me.
You are with me, and you are loved.
Michael and I have already mentioned, probably more than a dozen times, people in our lives, past and present, that we’ve thought of on our trip. You see, friends, you are always in our hearts and minds.
People I meet, share time with, develop relationships with– impact me daily.
Even thousands of miles from home I can’t help but think of many people along the way.
*Walking the streets of Old Town in Stockholm, I immediately thought of Gay and her love of European life and culture. I pictured her here, remembering all the many students she exposed to the world with her many trips to Europe.
*When we visit Danzig, how will I not think of my cousin Ginger, whose character in the musical RAGS escaped from there?
*When we visit the Stutthof Concentration Camp, how will I not have my friend Kathy, close in my thoughts? She and I shared a close bond and understanding of the events of the Holocaust and the importance of telling the stories to future generations.
*How will I not think of Jason after our frequent Patti LuPone conversations, while she performs on our cruise?
Yes, my friends, I have brought you all with me. I carry you with me every day of my life. Your impact and importance in my life goes far beyond the times we might have shared or the experiences we encountered. I think of you often.
Rejoice and celebrate every connection you make. You’ll be surprised how sometimes the most unexpected people influence you the most.