|And we will rebuild...|
IN REMEMBRANCE 2012
There is never a day that has passed since September 11, 2001 that I don't appreciate the mountains outside my window, the blue sky over my head, and even the sound of air traffic. Today, just miles from my home, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater thousands will walk the stairs, many in full firefighter gear carrying tanks and hoses, to commemorate the day that so many people were lost. For years I have wanted to walk beside them, and still, I make it my goal that someday I will walk that walk.
Last year I was alone on 9/11. I walked in a local parade with my karate family. A sense of community wellness and love was deep in my heart that day. On the tenth anniversary, I came home to an empty house, void of the six men that I protect and likewise protect me. And I, like I'm sure so many others, was sucked into the television documentaries of the day that had passed.
|c/o Colorado 9/11 stair climb 2011|
The media sheltered the world from so much of the devastation. We did not see those trapped and hanging from the windows screaming for help. We didn't see shopkeepers hiding behind their counters avoiding debris. We didn't realize people who lived across the streets lost their homes. It was about the towers.
Last year I think faces were added to our minds. Last screams. Last phone calls. Last images.
Even now as I think about it tears fill my eyes. Strangers carried each other down flights of stairs as they passed firefighters walking up the stairs. And the devastation of how many families waited and waited for word.
I met a woman at a conference from Nova Scotia who worked at the airport that day. Her stories of the mass amount of planes that had to land there was amazing. With US air closed, this was the only choice. Airplanes filled the hangers, runways, and highways. She told us of two young girls who had come from England and were headed to Boston. Their trusting parents put them on a flight, and their grandparents would be at the end of that flight in Boston, but the plane landed in Nova Scotia. I can't imagine the frantic family there, who wasn't in a tower, who didn't lose a loved one, but because of such a horrible act of terrorism their little girls were lost with strangers.
|c/o Colorado 9/11 stair climb Each person carries a name of a|
fallen firefighter that died that day in the towers, which they
entered on their own to save lives of others.
I think of how much it hurts to think about today, from me, a television bystander untouched by the events directly. Sure, I can't meet my husband at the gate of an airplane. I have to take off my shoes to go through airport security. I can't knit on the plane. But I am alive. I am well. I didn't lose anyone I knew and loved with all my heart. If I ache this much...I think of those families.
Every year I honor a man I never met with my posts. It started with my sister-in-law asking my husband to get her a bracelet with Jason Dahl's name on it. He was the captain of United Airlines flight 93 which crashed in Pennsylvania, and a fellow Coloradan. He asked if I wanted one and I said no. It felt petty. No good would come if I made a monetary purchase to a company to took a name from a list of those who were lost in such horror. But he bought me one. I wore it for years. My son wore it until the metal gave way. But I didn't let that gift signify just something I wore. I learned about the man.
Every year I pay tribute to Joseph Mistrulli who died when the first tower was hit. He was carpenter working to finish a job, who was to have left the building that morning at eight, a father to three, and a loving husband. His family was gracious over the years to post letters and pictures online so those of us could remember him. This week I was honored to have his daughter contact me and thank me for keeping his memory alive. Who knew that the events of that day, which live with each and every one of us, would still bring people together. She has offered to share her story here on my blog and commemorate her father. I'm beyond honored!
Some of my children were very young when this happened. Some weren't born. I look at my own life and the tragedies that have happened and the wars that were fought. I know so little about them. Born during the Vietnam War I know nothing about it. World War II, I know a little, but think of the lack of humanity that we know so little about.
9/11 may someday be something that is only called Patriot Day on our calendars, but I hope its not. I hope we continue to educate our youth on that day and to remember it. It was a horrible day. It was a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. And it taught us all that there is still humanity in our society in light of a few who devastated so many lives that day.
Please go hug your kids today, your spouse, your loved ones. Tell a stranger hi. Smile at someone who looks a bit overwhelmed. Give back to the community you live in even if you only pick up a piece of trash. Be there for each other and don't forget... no matter your skin color, your religious or political beliefs, or your sex... we are brothers and sisters in this life. Take care of each other.
This poem was written by his daughter Angela Mistrulli
Who will walk me down the aisle
Who will lift my veil and smile
Who will dance with me to our song
Dancing with anyone else to butterfly kisses would just feel so wrong
Who will catch my tears before fall
Who will love me with the greatest love of all
Who will protect me from all that i fear
I dont understand why you cant be near
Who will be at my high school graduation
Who will give me a standing ovation
Who will be proud of me no matter what i choose to do
Daddy no one could ever take the place of you