Love remembers love after 9-11

by Craig on September 9, 2011

I stayed up most of the night and wrote this as I watched the news. It was published in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in the days following 9-11.

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America by the numbers…

A handful of airline passengers, after learning of the Trade Center attack, voting, and then sacrificing their lives to prevent another disaster. No greater love has a person than to lay down their life for another.

No greater love has a person than to lay down their life for another.source

Hundreds of New Yorkers, every day, creating a gauntlet of support, lining a street exiting ground zero. They stand from pre dawn until well after midnight, to cheer and thank every single emergency worker who exits. Who says this is a mean and cold city?

Hundreds of New Yorkers, every day post 9-22 created a gauntlet of support, lining a street exiting ground zero. source

Thousands of Teddy Bears sent from the school children of Oklahoma City to the children of New York City. The kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

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A million American flags sold at Target and Wal-Mart in just 48 hours. Our color, class, or race may be different but we are all American and our flag still means something.

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Thousands of FBI and CIA agents assigned to the largest dragnet in the history of the world – they will identify – and then we will bring to justice – the cowardly criminals who planned this attack. More than just cursing the darkness, they are lighting candles in the dark.

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Hundreds of firefighters and police officers entering the Towers as thousands of the petrified residents were rushing out – they saved more lives than any rescue effort in the world to date. Yet, nearly all of those incredibly courageous rescuers exchanged their lives for the innocents they saved. Where would we be without those who have sworn to protect and serve?

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In considering the numbers of September 11th, the last number to consider is the number one; one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

♥✞ღ

 

And today I write this…

here’s the thing.

For a while…

we loved.

The night of September 11th I remember everyone racing to fill up cars with gas – and gas containers. Long lines, nervous people, but waving others before them – they were patient, and kind, and not rude or self-serving or quick tempered.

I remember people being not “inflated” proud, but “united” proud to be American.

I remember France waking up momentarily…
not being jealous…
and not rejoicing in wrongdoing…
and the Le Monde headline, “We Are All American”.

We didn’t brood about the injury…
our government made decisive moves and protected…
and we were set to endure…

and faith had a renaissance.

I remember family suddenly becoming important…
and rightful respect given to the military and firefighters and police…
we “rejoiced with the truth”.

I remember people bearing each other’s burdens…

for a while…

for just a while,

the country…

loved.

So I say…

let’s not commemorate…

let’s just remember who we became…

before we went back to being “normal”.

 

and if you hearted this at all,
or if you think others might find it useful,
would you consider sharing it in one of the ways below?

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

A. September 9, 2011 at 10:13 am

Yes, yes! I love the focus on ‘who we became before we went back to being normal’!! I am told, by New Yorkers, that New Yorkers have remained more open and friendly to this day since that event. The event and its aftermath took the edge off the New Yorker’s busy sort of ‘chill’. i wish more people could read this post of yours, Craig. it is a most fitting reflection!!

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 1:03 pm

A., I heart your whole comment – except for one word. I almost put this in the post too – funny. I despise that the media, changed the description of 9/11 – from the “attacks” of 9/11 to the “events” of 9/11. Sometimes the media called it the “tragic events of 9/11 “. I’m not a conspiracy guy – but the media was pushing an agenda – and they succeeded. 9/11 was an attack on our homeland that killed 3000 people – an event is a party, a graduation, a birthday – like the one that I have upcoming on September 12. Just sayin. Rant. Officially. Ended. Thank you – I feel better now ツ God bless!

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A. September 10, 2011 at 9:52 pm

Craig, totally agree. Glad you ranted!

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Kristin September 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Thank you for this. I shared it on facebook!
Bless you!

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 1:05 pm

Kristin, first of all, thank you for sharing this on Facebook. Thank you! I wrote it as I was watching the coverage of the news overnight and well into the wee hours, and I wrote it with tears. I was born in Brooklyn. I heart New York. And the way we all came together after that day – and all the patriotism – and all the love – and all the unity – that part of 9/11 was inspiring. Thank you again Kristin, and as always God bless you.

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Dawn September 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Dear Craig,

I posted this on Facebook. I’m with A. I love the focus on ‘who we became before we went back to being normal’!!

The memorial for Flight 93 is being dedicated this weekend. If I were not working, I would be there!

Remembering,
Dawn

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm

Dawn, thank you to for posting this on Facebook – really, thank you. And it’s a shame that the nation went back to a 9/10 way of living and loving after too short a time. Those people on flight 93 – brave beyond description. I’m remembering too. God bless you Dawn.

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Cora September 9, 2011 at 2:39 pm

OK! This was an WOW! moment for me, Craig. You took me back — not only to where I was, what I was doing, etc, but back to the feelings and emotions of the event and horror. “Who we became before we went back to being normal.” I’m not sure I ever went back to that. It changed me forever. I feel like I’m on sacred ground whenever I am near fire rescue workers or police, because now I KNOW what could happen to any one of these guys at any given moment. More than that, I KNOW they would do it, just as they did back on 9/11. Thank you for this post. I, too, posted it on my facebook page.

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 1:12 pm

in many ways I haven’t changed either. Before 9-11 I didn’t respect the military as much as I do now. I didn’t walk up to every service person I knew and shake their hand and thank them for their service. And I still do it to this day. But my flag is folded and put away – and although I still think this country is the best country ever to exist on the planet – my patriotism is not at the zenith that it was. Cops and firefighters I always respected because my brothers have those jobs – and I respect them and what they do. And you have a Facebook page too huh? I have one – but I don’t use it. I’m kind of the twitter person. Someday maybe Facebook…

And thank you Cora for posting this to your Facebook – thank you very much. And as always, God bless you my friend.

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Beverly King(cacenpoint) September 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

just got to library to see/read this. You ‘did good’. So much tragedy 9/11. But so much triumph, too. :)
It’s hard to believe that it’s been this many years since that day. Time keeps on slippin’ into the future.
My time @ library isn’t consistent, but I’m here right now.

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 1:16 pm

first of all, I’m sorry, but did you just quote a Steve Miller song from the 80s? ツ

♪♬♩♪♫♬ “I want to fly like an Eagle – to the sea – I want to fly like an Eagle let my spirit carry me…” ♪♬♩♪♫♬ ツ

((( smiling)))

Thank you Beverly, thank you. I’m glad you read my words. God bless and keep you!

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Beverly King(cacenpoint) September 10, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Ok, I’m caught. Yeah, I did quote the song! :) I didn’t remember who the artist was-just the song. But that one part IS true…time DOES keep slippin’ into the future.Today used to be Yesterday, and Yesterday USED to be Today. And who knows WHAT will happen to Tomorrow in(let me check,here) aprox.10 hours.(!) Hmmm…:)

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Beverly King(cacenpoint) September 10, 2011 at 1:51 pm

by the way, where did you get music notes for your comment? I guess the library keyboard doesn’t have the ‘fancy’ characters. I’m looking and don’t see them…

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 4:28 pm

Some secrets I can only divulge after I’ve known a person for say – a year maybe? ツ God bless!!

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Beverly King(cacenpoint) September 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Ok. I get it. Some kind of ‘trade secret’?? lol. Well, your secret would be safe with me, especially since the library computer is my internet access. Not only does their keyboard not HAVE things like little musical notes, some of the keys don’t even have LETTERS on them! (grin, but seriously true). So let me get this straight}If I follow you for a year on Twitter, THEN you tell me how to get little musical notes for my messages? :)

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 5:22 pm

yes – I could tell you before – but it’s like the CIA – I could tell you…but then… ツ God Bless Bev

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Debra September 10, 2011 at 6:51 pm

“…and faith had a renaissance.” What a great way to put it Craig.
I’ll be passing this marvelous message along.
Everything changed on 911.
And everything went back to normal almost as quickly.
I thought this American tragedy was a wake-up call.
And perhaps it was. But it seems that “business as usual”
prevailed and put the USA citizens right back to sleep.
What will it take next?

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 5:26 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

If I already sent you that cut and paste thing – I’m sorry – lots of comments to reply to – and way too late! I remember someone talking about how well the Japanese were handling their earthquake/tsunami/nuclear reactor thing – and how Americans wouldn’t react that well. He may not remember 9/11. We have short memories. And America may never wake up – I guess it’s not this kingdom we need to worry most about anyway. Thank you Debra – and as always – God bless you my friend!

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Martha Orlando September 10, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Of all the tributes I’ve read, Craig, yours is the most moving and uplifting. I pray that in our tenth year of commemorating this tragedy that healed our divisions and brought us together, one nation under God, will have the same effect. The sleeping giant needs to awaken and remain vigilant. There are too many who want to see our demise. We need to work harder than they are to make sure that this “city on the hill” remains just that.

Blessings, my friend!

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 5:29 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

and about what you have written, thank you, from my heart. I remember vividly writing this thing, with my laptop, in my bed, watching the news overnight – all these facts were gleaned from those newscasts. And then suddenly the poetic nature of the numbers came together – and this piece was born. And, by the way, any time you quote Ronald Reagan – you have my heart! God bless you Martha – and thank you.

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Debbie September 11, 2011 at 2:33 am

This had me crying. And I needed too. That is the one thing that grabbed me too, was our joining together, helping each other, praying and loving one another. I will be sharing it too!
Thank you so much, for writing what He asks you to!

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 5:31 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

and although you get a cut and paste comment Debbie – I know I really didn’t even need to include it for you. And that makes me happy. ((((( smile )))))

and thank you very much for sharing this – that means a lot to me. God bless you my friend!

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Katie September 11, 2011 at 8:43 pm

Amen! I am sharing on FB.

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Craig September 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm

I want to let you know first – that this part of my reply goes out to everyone – and I just cut and pasted it in to all my replies for the last few days – that I’m just catching up on today. Last night was the first night since last Thursday that I slept more than an hour at a time. I’ve barely had enough in me to research and create posts – much less time for reading you or anyone at all. I’m sorry for replying so late. But even late, I heart that you commented so much that not to reply would be way wrong. Sorry, and thank you. Thank you a lot for being so nice. I can say that in a cut and paste comment because I know from experience that it’s true of YOU personally – because it’s true of everyone I’m cutting and pasting this to.

and I know that’s a lot of words to say sorry, Katie, especially when all I’m going to say in response to your comment is thank you – and a little more – thank you very much for sharing this on Facebook – and thank you for reading – and God bless and keep you!

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Teresa Bianco September 12, 2011 at 2:36 pm

Dear Craig,
I love what you wrote. I was on the East End of LI on the phone with my daughter, who was 20 at the time. She was a student at NYU and lived on Water St., she thought that it was an earthquake until she looked out her high rise. Our call ended no more service but she saw it all including the bodies flying out the window. Three days passed and I could not find her. She was caught in the horror and did not change for a week. She felt she had to honor the souls that feel on her clothes and were in her heart. She will never be the same and has endured tremendous suffering. She is alive but broken. I pray for her, the lost lives and those that live with broken hearts and pain that medication will never fix.
I cried in church yesterday for the innocent girl I lost that day. I cried for the families and friends who will never hold their loved ones again. And I cried for all people that we may need something tragic again to bring us together.
God Bless you Craig. May you continue to share your thoughts that touch my heart and bring peace to all who reads you.
All the best,
Teressa

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Craig September 20, 2011 at 4:15 pm

First of all Teresa I’m sorry, I’m so late in replying. But two weeks ago there was a week without near zero sleep (I have a sleep thing). And this last week I’ve been overwhelmed with sadness for Sara Frankl (@gitzengirl) – sho is going home to be with the Father. And as I stand vigil over Sara, from afar, along with so many others, and tears become as natural as breath, I’ve fallen behind, in reading – and commenting – and replying – and I’m sorry.

I was born in Brooklyn myself, and I never actually saw the towers. I do remember being jealous of them when they went up – jealous in the name of the Empire State Building (smile) and really – I WAS.

and your story, your story – I didn’t read it until now – and I hurt for your innocent girl. Really I do. She’s lucky to have a mama like you. God bless her, and God bless you, and God bless each and every single one of yours.

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