and a moment of beauty in the dawn hours.
Silently, one by one, in the infinite meadows of heaven, blossomed the lovely stars, the forget me not of angels.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
On each anniversary of September 11th I am instantly transported back to that surreal moment, watching a television display footage of the attack on the world trade center. I can remember each moment as if it were in slow motion…trying at the same time to comprehend what I was seeing. It is one of those events that never seems to lose its rawness and I feel compelled to mark its passage each year with a moment of silence.
At the time I was a member of a search and rescue team and as I watched it unfold my pager began to go off and I knew that some members of the team would be going into that massive ‘rubble pile’ in search of anyone still surviving. I knew it would not be me as I worked a bloodhound that was trained to follow only the scent of a victim that I provided to her. The dogs going in would be trained to alert on any human scent.
It was difficult to be on the sidelines waiting for any word of a positive find and at the same time being concerned for the safety and well-being of other team members and their canine partners. This many years later I still find it a challenge to articulate what happened on the days following this terror attack on American soil.
My heart goes out to the families that lost loved ones on 9-11 as well as to the first responders, handlers, and canines that later succumbed due to illnesses caused by their selfless call to duty in a toxic environment.
So I take a moment each September 11 to remember and on this morning felt some measure of solace as dawn approached on the west coast and the aurora borealis danced across the sky.
And then there were the stars…the forget me not of angels.
7 thoughts on “Lest we forget, a moment of silence…”
Thank you for these words. It makes one stop and remember and the remembering is painful.
Thank you, and thanks for sharing your remembrance of that morning too when we spoke.
These days, the term ‘Hero’ is too often used indiscriminately, IMO anyway. Those First Responders and subsequently the hundreds of Search and Rescue people and dogs who followed them are the True and Legitimate Heroes in my book! So many hard lessons were learned in the aftermath of 911. It’s so important that we remember, not to foster hate or seek revenge. But to make us a stronger and wiser people.
Thank you, very well said and I appreciate your words.
I think most people in both our countries remember where we were and what we were doing before we were glued to the TV in disbelief. Wonderful words and an amazingly beautiful picture.
This is a beautiful tribute to an event we wish had never happened, but that we will never want to forget.