Winter has warmed, Spring has sprung, Summer has sizzled, and now the cool breath of Autumn falls upon us. I awoke to a surprise Sunday; the air had a slight bite to it. The scorching heat of summer was now falling victim to the cool breeze of fall. Of all the seasons, Autumn is my favorite. There is something entrancing about Autumn. Walking down a path surrounded by trees, watching as lifeless pieces of art glide softly down to earth; closing your eyes and listening to the wind dance through the leaves; lying on a blanket gazing skyward, watching the beam from your flashlight slowly disappear into the stars. Many people believe that Spring brings new life. I say that’s Autumn’s job. Without death there can be no life; one gives, so another can live. The flowers slowly wither, the dark of night starts seeping into the light, and the cool touch of the clouds prepares us for cooler days. Cooler days remind me of holidays; holidays always remind me of those who I care about. Holidays make me thankful; thankful to have found a home; thankful to have people who care about me; thankful to be safe.
Last week Erin set up a display about September 11th 2001. She had hung up two shirts: one in memory of the police officers who died that day, and one from the fire station across the street from the twin Tower, who lost a whole ladder company that day. There were fire boots, and a police hat, a doll and some pictures. Below each picture was a number: 49-Lost on United Flight 93; 125-LOST at the Pentagon; 23- NYPD LOST; 343- FDNY LOST; 2,985- total lives LOST. I didn’t understand what all these numbers and pictures meant. I flipped through the books that she had set out along with the display. Terrorists had flown two planes into the Twin Towers, a third into the Pentagon. A forth missed its intended target, The White House and Congress, and crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. I couldn’t understand why anyone would want to hurt America, hurt the American people… hurt my family. I wasn’t here when 9/11 happened. But my family was; as were many of my library patrons. Erin’s final touch to the display was a sign that asked one question: “Where were you?” For many who were alive that day, they can tell you exactly where they were. They can tell you where they were when each plane hit. They can tell you where they were when the towers came crashing down. They can tell you where they were. “Where were you?” It makes you stop and remember. Remember-- those who were innocent and died because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Remember--those who risked their lives to save others. Remember--those who are still hurting.
On September 11, 2011, I want you to remember. Remember--those you love. Remember--those who are lost. Remember--those who fight to keep America safe. Remember--what America is and all the lives that have been lost to make her what she is today. Remember!
What will you do to remember?
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