The World Mourns, what we leave behind

Your memory plays tricks on you. It can be so selective. What one remembers, another experiencing the same event, might recall entirely different. For me, well it seems I’ve already forgotten so much of my past.

But the morning of 9/11, and the following two weeks remain so crystal clear. For me, for my wife, for anyone who I’ve talked to. The horror, the anger, the realization that life can change in an instant, no matter how many layers of denial we attempt to hide behind.

How many of us swore to change our lives in those following weeks? Resolve to be better citizens? Better family members? Better friends? I did. I know you did.

For many, that day prompted reaching out. Connecting. Making contact. It would emerge as the moment that gave birth to blogging. In the seemingly spontaneous outpouring of grief, anger, support and viewpoint, thousands poured their hearts and souls into this social space of spaces.

That 15th I went to confession. Not knowing that later that day my nephew would pass from S.I.D.S.. I had asked my priest, what should I do? How should I help? I was ready to get in a car and drive to New York City. He told me to stop and think. Be a good husband. Be a good brother. Be a good uncle. Be present and be there for them. The absolute tear in our hearts that would happen that afternoon made clear to me that I needed to withdraw from the web. Shutter Philly Future. Hunter was just three months old when he left us. I didn’t get a chance to know him. And that was my fault.

Besides, the web was *already* an integral part of my life. I had put so much of myself into my work, into this, I felt I had to take five steps back to find my footing.

In some ways, the change was for naught. Some moved away. Others disappeared into online gaming. A mailing list of close friends imploaded under personal attacks brought about by political differences that couldn’t be bridged. And here I am, back on the web, participating even more then I did prior to 9/11. I guess it’s part of who I am. And I guess that’s life, it goes on. But I’m still left every day with the question – is this making a difference?

What will Emma, my daughter, think of it all one day?

I’m mirroring The World Mourns here at paradox1x, since its 30 or so pages remind me so vividly of the spirit that rose in the horror of 9/11. A spirit that united the world, in interconnectedness, that lasted until the lead up to the Iraq war.

To me, if anything, it is what needs to be reminded of that day, and of the following days. In the face of so much evil, humanity has the potential to find common ground, to rise above differences, in goals, in minds, in deeds, and in hearts.

Our leadership has failed to bring to justice those that attacked us on 9/11. Instead of encouraging discourse and conversation, optimism and vision, it has encouraged fear and silence.
And we’re playing our parts. All too well. Forgotten is that opportunity. That hope.

Our children are watching our example. What are we are teaching? What are we are leaving behind?

7 thoughts on “The World Mourns, what we leave behind

  1. thanks, i think, but i really wish i didn’t feel the need to write this.

    i’m not one of those people to dwell on aniversaries of *anything* – when there is something to celebrate – i believe in celebrating it everyday – when there is something to mourn – it becomes part of me.

    this week, however, is something far different. i feel for all those that have experienced so much loss. and i can’t help but think of Hunter, my brother and his family.

    i’m abstaining from writing the rest of this week. this is enough.

  2. V.O.R.- I’ve been using the phrase “Embrace the Beard” for about a month and a half now on my blog…but that would make a great fan club up in the stands.

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