I got up early this morning, while the sky was still grey and the morning air cool. I put out my American flag, more of a traditional act of respect in my family than anything else, but I thought it appropriate nonetheless. It was early enough that I stepped outside in my boxers and a T-shirt, I knew no one else would be around. I came inside and started thinking about what to do next. The house needed cleaning, the yard needed cutting and my laundry needed to be done. I turned the radio on and the Weekend edition of All Things Considered was just starting. The host started talking about New York and how residents of the city were marking the third anniversary of the events of 9/11. I hadn't planned on participating in any sort of memorial to those who died, American, Bangladeshi, Honduran, British, South African and others alike I'd thought my flag was enough. But as I stood in the living room, thinking of how to go about the morning, I found myself drawn to the story on the radio and plopped down in my chair. Over the next hour or so I listened to various stories about those who died and those left behind. I have to say, the tears were flowing and I became pretty somber.
I spent most of the rest of today keeping busy around my house and just reflecting. It started raining mid-afternoon and I found myself standing on the porch, listening to the rain falling and watching the flag flow in the wind, sticking to itself. One of the stories today, about the wife of the Fire chief who died in the Towers, held my thoughts for a long time and it popped back into my head while the rain fell gently. It wasn't just the things she said about their 30 years of marriage or about how hard it has been since he died,it was also the things that weren't said and it really shook me up to think about all the individual stories of heartache. My mind being what it is and doing what it does, this thought soon led me to think about heartache caused by War throughout the world, sadness and futility.
It really is too much to bear, if you allow it to consume the joy of living. So tonight I decided to try and concentrate on the joy. I went to a fundraiser, a dinner for the charitable foundations of the two local hospitals. The foundations support various charitable causes, from relieving patients financial burdens to providing services to ease pain and grief. It did the trick, as shallow as that might sound, by allowing me to see people smile and to know that I was helping others will having a good time myself.
I hope that no one, anywhere in the world, will have to go through another terrorist attack, It is a hope I know cannot be fulfilled, but I'll hope nonetheless.