Sunday, September 11, 2011

Everyday Heroes


As I reached for this morning's paper, my half awakened brain recalled that today was September 11th. September 11th used to be a regular old day of the year, now it is compared with Pearl Harbor Day, D-Day, or other infamous days.  I thought that I would not get wrapped up in the emotion of the day, or stuck remembering the tragedy of the day, yet it only took reading the cartoons to find myself weeping. Most of the tears seemed to be about the pain we endure in this world, while at the same time, the tears were for the wait. The wait to see, with my own eyes, the true Light of the world.

Our family travelled to New York City, just over a year after the September 11th event. We were a bit nervous about going, but were also determined not to let the terrorists get us down.  We found the people of New York much friendlier than expected, as we Northwesterners think we have a corner on friendliness. 

At times, we offered our condolences for their losses, and even heard a story from a man whom would have normally been in a meeting in one of the tower buildings, but for some reason, didn't happen to go in, that day.


The day we saw Ground Zero, our intinery was way too full, and our stomachs were empty so our first go by the site was sadly more like a moment from National Lampoon's Vacation. We crankily rushed  inside one of the first buildings,  that already had it's damage repaired. As we waited for our food, we walked by a window display that conveyed looking to the future, as the artist showed a desire to move on from the terrible event.
Since we had hurried into the building to find food, we missed seeing a good portion of what was left at Ground Zero, as the sun had already set. A make shift plywood walkway was put up and the wall of the walkway somewhat blocked the view of the site. What I noticed is that while I was, well, gawking, others were finishing their day of work and rushing to get home. They had to walk by that reminder every day.  They weren't looking at it like I was, as an outsider gawking at the horrible. With speed in their gait, they walked by the site and averted their eyes. The reality for them was that every day they were reminded of a tangible display of the evil in the world.

Besides sitting for hours on end watching television coverage of what seemed was unreal in New York City, I don't remember how I responded to what happened there. I don't recall if I gave to a charity, or wrote a letter to someone who lost a loved one. I just remember I cried.

  I've had all day to ponder how September 11th affected my way of life. But most of all I keep thinking about those "first responders" we have in our lives that are willing to risk theirs to save ours, and wanting to say "Thank You". Two of my close friends have firefighter husbands, whom I consider brothers. One of these men is my son's best friend's dad. The other another good friend's husband who lives in Olympia. Both are trememdous fathers and dedicated husbands.
My friends in Olympia spent time today remembering September 11th by participating in a stair climb memorial event in Seattle. They climbed 55 stories, twice, to represent the 110 stories the responders took on September 11, 2001. The part that chokes me up is that, as they climbed the flight of stairs, they carried photos of some of the men who died in the towers.



When I watched Captain America, I thought of my friend Jim Brown the entire film. In the movie the everyday, honest, and honorable man wanted to be a hero. When he became an artificial, phony hero, he fought to be a real hero. My friend Jim not only wants to be a good man through all that God and life throws his way, he wants to be a good man, and acts on it. He gives to and loves his wife, kids and community. He is a man of deep passion for many a cause and has no qualms with calling good, good and evil, the enemy.