06 September 2011

A side trip to Shanksville

Thank you for your comments on Icy. He is a Dragon Dreams Design. I am trying to finish him up since he was a SAL with Riona, who finished hers months ago. He has been a pleasant stitch, and I am glad I can see the end.

On Sunday, we went up to Western PA for my dad's family reunion. On the way home, I asked that we stop at the site of the Flight 93 crash. It's been a long while since I've been by to pay my respects and it was very much changed since I'd been there last. They've all but finished the memorial to the victims. It wasn't open to the public yet, but you could see it from the Overlook. It looks nothing like the strip mine the area really is, it's more like a park out west, with rolling hills, and grass. Goldenrod and Queen Anne's lace are blooming. It's hard to imagine it was the scene of such horror and such bravery.

They had a small temporary memorial set up in the building they used as investigation headquarters. We stood in line an hour to get in, but it was such a moving experience. I actually got choked up being there, which I know sounds odd, because I didn't lose anyone on that day, but it was moving to realize that, had they hesitated, had they let fear overwhelm them, in 20 minutes, my DC could have been hit. I know what the traffic was like that day, everyone was fleeing and the streets were packed, and they saved countless lives at such a terrible price to their families. I don't know if I could have made that sacrifice. I'd like to think that I could, but I don't know. And it did hit me that we spend so much time thinking that one person can't make a difference, and, on that day, in that plane, 40people made such a difference to people who may or may not ever know they were 20 minutes away from a bigger tragedy. Maybe I was one of them. Maybe you or someone you love was, too.

I know that the anniversary of September 11th is approaching and we're going to get glutted with specials and analysis and stories. I know I'm going to sit and reflect that day, on where we were, what we lost, and how I can live my life so that their sacrifice wasn't wasted. My heart goes out to their families, and to all of us who lived through that day, may we all become better for it.


MoonBeam said...

Nice post. The story of Flight 93 is a special one, isn't it?


Siobhan said...

Well said, Rachel. I didn't lose anybody that day but still find it very hard to think and talk about. I have two brothers who were in DC that day and am profoundly grateful to still have them.

Pumpkin said...

Well written post Rachel.

I do my thing and you do yours. I am not in this world to live up to your expectations, and you are not in this world to live up to mine. You are you and I am I, and if by chance we find each other, then it is beautiful. If not, it can’t be helped--Frederick Perls