In Memoriam: The Day When Everything Changed

As I prepared my blogs ahead of time, I came to 9/11. Monday is my regular posting day, and I had a post about writing ready to go. Then I typed the date.

And stopped.

Memories swamped me. Where I was. How I felt. How I needed to connect with my traveling husband, and the phone circuits didn’t work.
Even though it’s not a “special” anniversary this year, I recalled it all. I’ve never understood what makes one anniversary better than another. Twenty-five years is silver, and fifty years is golden.

Every year should be a celebration of the fact there is another year to celebrate.

Anniversaries of hard times aren’t celebrated at all. But they are marked on the calendars of our heart. Four years since Mom died. Eight years since Gram died. Five years since my friend moved away.

Today is that day.

A day loaded with melancholy and horror, grief and terror. On the flip side, it’s brightened by national pride and patriotism.

New York City skyline

In memoriam of This Day, I’m sharing an informal bit of poetry.

It Only Takes a Moment

One moment
Life is business as usual
Alarm clock and workout wear
Planning sack lunches
Checking the to-do list
Heading to the gym
Kickboxing and sweat
Another day in the life
Of a blessed American citizen

One moment later
Everything tilts sideways
Planes used as cannon balls
Sirens, smoking towers
People gaping, weeping
Unquenchable fires
No way to evacuate
This has to be special effects
But no, this moment is all too real

Only minutes later
Another plane crashes
The other tower flames
Too much horror
Not enough time
Rescuers become victims
Newscasters are speechless
Video gives awful detail
Life becomes a horror show

One hour later
Jumpers and screamers
A tower implodes
Thousands of innocents
Who woke up to normal
Sleep forever
No one escapes
Tragic terror
Every foundation rattles

Heroes step forth in this darkest of hours
Defined in their moment of sacrifice

One day later
Prayer vigils with candlelight
Fluttering flags at half-mast
Churches overflow
A nation of mourners
Stunned to silence
Awakened to need
God Bless America
News time sign-off

One week in slow motion
Weeping abates, anger stirs
Patriots stand, orders obeyed
Racial profiling
Fingers pointing
Vengeance and blame
Can justice prevail
To rebuild the ruins
Or repay the death toll

One new tomorrow
Greeted in gratitude
Forged in unity
Gained in freedom
Faded with time
Gone so soon
Forgotten in life
Until that one moment
When everything changes

Again


On September 11, 2001, I walked out of the gym after my kickboxing class at the fitness club. I glanced at the screen (they have TV monitors everywhere in those places) and wondered what movie trailer was playing.
Seriously. It was so horrifying, it had to be from a film.
In my car, the radio announcers explained the situation on the East Coast. Shock numbed me. Many hours later it sank in, devastated me.
The experience is beyond words, but maybe those I shared above touch a little bit of the significance of That Day When Everything Changed.
Where were you when you learned about the 9/11 terrorist attack?

World Travel in one long walk

Only in Las Vegas can you go from New York to Paris by crossing four pedestrian bridges and zero bodies of water. This is world travel at its least complex.
Bright blue sky accompanied our stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard on Monday morning. After registering at the conference at The Cosmopolitan, we began our tourist trek.
First stop involved viewing the water feature in front of the Aria. We recently saw this in the movie Last Vegas. Amazing and intricate. We’re certain it would be spectacular at night. Two thumbs up to the artist who synchronized those water and lights.
Down the street we gaped at the Brooklyn Bridge. I was thankful Godzilla didn’t make an appearance. My husband tried to get me on the roller coaster around the New York skyline. You all know I’m crazy but not insanely stupid. I did pose with Lady Liberty.
Since the sun isn’t scheduled to make an appearance the next few days, my husband was forced to sit by the pool with me for a couple hours in the afternoon. I was on a lounger and he sat in the shade. The wind blew shoes across the pool and lounge chairs into the water. Thankfully, no bodies attached in either case.
Once the sun set, we could visit the City of Light. I’ll post pictures of that on the blog tomorrow. My iPad is awesome, but the WordPress application less so. I’ll go online to my site where I know how to get more than one image up at a time.
Have you visited New York City? Paris? Las Vegas? Share a memory. That way we can all travel vicariously through you – so much less expensive.