9/11 – How We Observed the Day


The date sort of says it all.  It is the ten year anniversary of the attack and collapse of the World Trade Center, the destruction of part of the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93.  It
is the day our world changed forever, the day we all lost brothers and sisters to the terrorist attacks.  The occasion has been marked by a myriad of news specials, remembrance specials, documentaries and other observances.  The NFL had special ribbon patches sewn on their jerseys, Nascar held a moment of silence between laps nine and eleven, and the Westberry family went to the beach.

Many people will say, “How is that an observance of what happened on 9/11?”  And my answer is, “We live in America, where we can choose to observe or not, cry or not, commemorate or not.  And we chose to enjoy the gorgeous morning at the beach.”  While at the beach, my husband and our daughters played in the surf and hunted for seashells; and I listened to the waves, felt the sun on my skin, and was so very grateful that I live in a free country.  I remembered not only  the victims of that heinous, cowardly attack who won’t be able to experience a simple day at the beach with their family, but also of my friends and family members who have passed away.  As I collected sharks’ teeth, sea glass, and perfect seashells, I felt their presence in each treasure I found.

So, though I didn’t acknowledge 9/11 in some grandiose manner, I still remember where I was when I heard the news.  I still felt the shock and disbelief at the images of the burning buildings.  I still cried today as I watched Flight 93 and the “New York” commercial with the signing kids and fire fighters .  I still stand in awe of living in a country where we are free to commemorate (or not) as we see fit.  I still honor all who have died, and I embrace their presence in my life, still.

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