September 11

On this day in 2011

My dog brought me his rubber chicken

Before I even got out of bed

Because he knew I was sad.

On this day in 2001, I packed for a flight to Washington, DC.

My co-workers prepared to leave for the airport, when someone called us

to the TV,

showing a plane crashing into a skyscraper, unfurling clouds of dark gray smoke.

Over and over, over and over and over we saw that plane strike the World Trade Center.

We wondered, what in the world?

Then another plane struck, and both towers went down in a monstrous cloud of dust.

On it went.

A plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, DC

And we prayed for our co-worker who was already there. We prayed for everyone there.

What on earth was going on?

A plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

Later we learned of the brave passengers, who heard over their cell phones of the attacks and said, “no more!” They said goodbye to their loved ones, then faced the attackers and drove the plane into that field.

Heroes they were.

There would be no more flights that day.

All were grounded.

That night the skies were empty. My dogs and I walked under a clear, star-filled sky and wondered at the quiet, the emptiness.

For surely many new souls had entered heaven that day.

People from the planes.

People from the buildings.

People from the neighborhood.

People and dogs from the rescue crews.

Surely heaven was busy that night.

And yet the sky was so quiet. And empty, except for the stars.

New stars lit the night.

Soon fighter jets circled overhead, even here in Minnesota.

And though I had wondered at the peacefulness of the sky, following the violence of the day

And realized, even then, I would never again see the sky this empty and the stars so wondrous.

Once I knew they were ours, I was thankful for the fighter jets watching over. I was thankful to be an American.

I was thankful for the rescue workers, dogs and people, who tirelessly searched in the face of such wreckage, such overwhelming sorrow, allowing the possibility of hope.

I was thankful for each being who gave hope to another, through a courageous act, a hug, or just a simple word of kindness.

For we all felt so fragile even as we were gathering our strength.

I wondered how this tragedy could happen in our great country—or anywhere.

How does hate go that far?

I wondered at the depth of loss and destruction.

I stood up for Marwane, a man at work. For although some hated him for his name and I had felt his disrespect for me as a woman, I knew he was not a terrorist.

I learned of children who were born on 9-11-01, of love that was born too, borne on the winds of destruction.

I saw how tragedy brought out the best in people, how love brought us together and slowly built us up again, how love inspired us to help one another.

And I tried to focus on love.

I tried not to hate.

Because hate killed all those people.

Hate killed all those people, and some dogs who went to help.

And somehow the hate has to end.

Somehow the hate has to end.

On this day in 2011, my dog brought me his rubber chicken before I even got out of bed, because he knew I was sad.

Because I have not forgotten.

So through my tears I played with my dog (sent to me by God and doG in 2003), and his rubber chicken. Through my tears, I played with Bandit and that rubber chicken, and I smiled.

I appreciated my dog’s simple act of love and compassion, as he showed me how to go forth. He showed me how to go forth with love, not hate.

And I vowed to go forth with love.

Through my tears, I vowed to go forth with love.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.