As I stood on my front steps and looked out across the street, I noticed my neighbor's two gorgeous American flags blowing in the wind. Not for the first time I asked myself why I never remember to buy an American flag except on the day I'm supposed to be flying one. Alas, there wasn't much I could do. My minivan was in the shop for a transmission replacement. I was neurologically off, anyway, so riding my bike off to the store for a flag was out of the question. Besides, how was I going to transport the dear thing on my bike?
I realized that in the seven years that have passed since that painful day our lives have moved on. We live safe in our mundanity. Our daily thoughts are filled with the stuff busy people think of: errands to do, bills to pay, appointments to keep. Our lives are filled with lists. Terrorism is something that only occurs overseas again, and we go about our business.
As my rather humdrum day winds down to a stop, I thought I'd mark 9/11 in passing. I wrote about it last year in Thinking Positive After Tragedy: 9/11 and Beyond. I invite you to reread that column. In it I talk about my brother Ryan who died nine years ago. This February will be the 10th anniversary of his passing. His friends went on to serve our country in Afghanistan and Iraq, but he never did. I know he would have served proudly had he had the chance.
The events of 9/11 still affect our daily lives when we travel in the air. 9/11 shapes our politics and national policy. The deaths of nearly 3000 Americans can still weigh heavily on our minds. Still, I'm glad the nation can heal and return to mundanity. One day 9/11 will be a national holiday with closed banks and stores filled with sales. Until that day, though, please take a few minutes to honor those who died before you return to the hustle and bustle of your blessedly normal lives.
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