Sunday, September 11, 2011

Beyond Our Words

We remember.

We remember exactly where we were, what we were doing, who we were talking to.   It was a beautiful September day.  And then it wasn't anymore.  And it wasn't for a long time.

Ten years later  I simply need to let my thoughts fall. On Friday night I watched a 9-11 anniversary special on television and oddly enough, I wanted more. But more what?  More words. More words examining, thinking, looking with fresh perspectives. More words leading us to a path that is different from the one this country has traveled since that fateful day. A path that initially brought people together but sadly, began to diverge into hardened stances where compassion seems to have evaporated.

Because it impossible for anyone to forget. All you need is one image. Just one image, of the north tower moments after it was hit, replays all the 9-11 stories, of both towers falling, of people running for their lives in NY and DC, a crater in a Pennsylvania.  And bravery beyond what most of us know - with men who trudged 100 pounds of gear up the down staircases, and men who wouldn't take no for answer and stormed a cockpit. People whose world went dark and reached through their own moment of hellish terror to bring another to safety.

To honor their courage, to truly honor the memory of what happened, we need to do better.  Beyond our words. We need to move beyond our words. Before they grow meaningless.

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Samuel Barber, Adagio for Strings


Annemieke said...

Dear Jody,

Like you I stil know where I was and what I did. At work, bringing down some mail to the mail room and they had the TV on. I remember standing there in shock, thinking of friends that worked in those towers. Will never forget trying to reach them and the long, long wait before knowing what happened to them. Four of them where lost that day and their memory is still with me every day. I too thank all the brave men and women who went beyond he call of duty to help others, somtimes at the cost of their own life. You´re amazing writing brought back that day and I thank you for the great piece f music you recommended, so fitting. Lets never forget

Jody said...


It would have been mid-afternoon for you as you stood in the mail room...with immediate thoughts of friends who worked in towers. I am so, so sorry for your much at one time. By sharing our stories and bearing witness to what happened, we cease forgetting. It is only in silence that we forget.

I was actually standing in the doctor's office, it was early, since we are one hour behind New York time. Steve and I had returned from Ohio the night before, where we visited some friends he used to work with. I had a sinus infection, compounded by a migraine, so got up early that morning to get some antibiotics. While standing at the counter to pay I saw the first images from the Today show. It was apparent something awful was in progress yet no one yet had the words. It was as thought we'd lost the capacity to describe this kind of horror.

I hope to hear more about the lives your friends in the days and years to come. In this way we not only honor who they were but at the same time, acknowledge what so many lost.


Nancy's Point said...

I will never forget those images. I was just returning from taking my youngest to school and I watched the second plane come in. It still seems impossible. We do need to remember and not just today.

Stacey said...

Beautifully said, Jody.

Jody said...

Thanks to both of you Nancy & Stacey.

AnneMarie said...

Thank you, Jody for sharing this. Everything remains as horrifying today as it was in 2001. For me, it's mostly about the children when I reflect. They are ten years older and their daddy's are forever gone. That cuts me like a knife.

Jody said...

It truly does, AnneMarie. So many children who lost Daddies and Mommies. They do have the affirmation of a nation behind them, though; and their parent's names are memorialized in monuments in NY, PA and DC. I hope that helps all of them.

Thank you,

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Beth L. Gainer said...


Thank you for this beautiful post. It brought me to tears. I was diagnosed in Jan. 2001 and finished treatment in Aug. 2001. Then the towers and part of the pentagon came tumbling down a month later. All those lives lost.

I was also seeing one of my docs on that day. So heartbreaking.

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