It was heard in the voices of news anchors, crowds, and leaders, but most of all, in the voices of the 40. Hearing the replays of the news reports today brought me instantly back to that morning. That gorgeous September day when the world as we know it, changed forever. I am sure you remember where you were and what you were doing; I was in the tallest building in the city of Pittsburgh, yes the one “93” flew over. I remember the anxiety, the chaos, the tears, the unknown.
I remember the entire city trying to get home, to get to their children or loved ones or to make contact with those who may have been in New York or D.C., or on “93”.
I remember trying to keep a sense of normalcy for my oldest child who was in elementary school. Today, trying to provide an understanding for my youngest who was born two years after that day.
Today, I heard the phone recordings from 3 of the 40. My heart broke all over again as despite the calm, they knew, they just knew. The fear that shook them to their core was more fully realized in brief 60 second phone messages to their loved ones. I listened. I heard. I was chilled to the bone. I wept. A grown man next to me standing with his very young son wept with me. He touched my shoulder, I touched his hand–just small gestures of comfort from one parent to another, one person to another.
I stepped outside and headed to the observation area–the flight path. The silence is deafening.
I didn’t hear a crash, or screams, or sirens, or the din of first responders….just the crickets, the birds, the whispers of prayers.
The silence was overwhelming, almost frightening.
There, in this field, 40 men and women made the ultimate sacrifice that saved countless other lives. What went through their minds and their hearts; I can only imagine (and it would be a poor attempt at best).
Many died that day; senselessly, violently, heroically. Some had no warning, others knew full well. Others, while physically still here, had a piece of themselves die that day too. Families, friends, first responders, news reporters, the citizens of this country and the world. The toll tragedies such as these take on those who survive (and who cover the events to keep us informed) can be unbearable to some.
Some things and some ones died that day. Something died today too.
As I took the journey down the path and heard the birds and gazed upon the field filled with flowers and butterflies, my steps became more intentional and stronger. I could feel fear begin to disapate, and while still sad for those who persished, a sense of peace was all around. It was as though 40 pairs of hands were pushing me along.
Standing by the black granite walls marking the sacred resting place and fixating on the boulder, the tombstone of the 40 strangers who came together and died as soul mates, I couldn’t help but smile.
Now this may seem irreverent, but all I could imagine were the smiling faces of those brave people. I could almost hear laughter, not weeping, as if they were there rejoicing and encouraging all of us to go out and make a difference. What can one person possibly do?
One person can let fear and anxiety die and let love be born again. One person can pass on kindness, respect, laughter, light and love everyday. If each person did this even once a day, imagine the positive energy we can spread,
Something died today; a renewed commitment to spread love came alive!