For the last seven years, when the calendar rolls around to September 11, it’s been hard to know how to respond. A part of me hopes that the news media will not run the pictures of the billowing smoke at the World Trade Center, or the people scrambling for their lives. Just let the horror rest. By the same token, it was a day that will remain indelible in our minds and hearts, like “Where were you when JFK was shot?”
I do want to remember. I want to remember not the terrorists, but the heros. The people who turned back to help others, the people who ran toward the disaster to end up losing their own lives. I want to remember the people from all over the world who descended on New York to help in the aftermath, to feed, shelter and comfort or just to pray. I want to remember the sacrifice of the brave Americans who took down a plane headed for Washington. I still remember the wave of patriotism as we wrapped a nation’s wounds in the comforting red, white and blue. I want people to remember what happened when a whole country came together as one… and to never forget.
Don’t show me the smoke from the buildings, or the coffins, or the devastation. Don’t show me what the terrorists did, the targets they scored. We already know all too well and we don’t need to give the terrorists footage to cheer. Show me what we did, how we responded, the shining hour that proved our solidarity as a free country. We need to mark the anniversary, but it should be about us, about America, and not Bin Laden’s vendetta. Seven years later our men and women are fighting a war that was supposed to be payback for 9/11. Our troops our stationed all over the world as a symbol of democracy and freedom. Remember the first responders, remember the troops, remember the outpouring of love and support and the renewed patriotism. Then ask yourself why that patriotism, passion and concern fades as each year passes.
The is one annual local event that invites the public to commemorate the day in a special ceremony. Absolut Care of Gasport is sponsoring the seventh annual 9/11 Memorial on the Canal at the Gasport Marina, 8647 Telegraph Rd., on Thursday. This yearly event honors those who were lost in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, and the members of our local law enforcement agencies and “first responders” who stand ever ready to secure our homeland. In observance of the Niagara County Bicentennial, the 9/11 Memorial this year includes a historical perspective. Emergency Response Units (fire, ambulance and police) in our area have been invited to prepare a display that chronicles the history of their organization’s development and service to our community. These displays will be set up in the parking lot area of the Gasport Marina at 3 p.m. and will include photo displays, historical information and vehicle demonstrations. The memorial program will start at 4 p.m. and will include music, speakers, a blessing for our brave first responders and the traditional floral tribute on the canal. Participants will include students from Royalton-Hartland Schools, community and civic leaders and area clergy. The community is invited to attend.