Moving Forward

This morning while driving into work, I was listening to the radio as I usually do. I was taken aback as they briefly mentioned the anniversary of September 11th. It being such a busy week, I had forgotten what day it was and I felt a twinge of regret for not being automatically aware. As Laura, a fellow creative and online copywriter mentioned in her blog, “It’s so important to never forget that day, to never forget those that lost their lives, to never forget the heroism that was displayed.”

Yes, it was an unbelievably tragic event. Like the Kennedy assassination was for my parents, everyone remembers where they were when the World Trade Center was hit by the Hijackers. For me, I was in a figure drawing class in my senior year of high school. My teacher was playing some moody classical music to get us all in the creative groove, when our school secretary’s voice echoed over the loud speaker relaying the sad news. We all quickly rushed into the wood-shop room next door and turned on the television and watched the smoke billow out of the building. We all murmured as to what we thought might of happened. “Maybe it was an accident.” “Maybe the plane experienced mechanical difficulties.” But our stomachs dropped when we witnessed the second plane slam into the twin tower. No, this certainly was not an accident and I knew at that moment none of our lives would ever be the same.

That December I went to New York to visit ground zero. My family and I waited in line for almost four hours. It was cold and dark, but no one left out of frustration because we all wished to pay our respects. When we approached, gates and a near-by church were plastered with pictures and letters to loved one’s lost. The one that got me the most was a note written in blue crayon. I can’t recall the exact specifics of its content, but it was from a little boy to his mother. Being so young, his letters were large and he couldn’t quite stay in the lines, but his message was far beyond his years. He stated that he missed and loved his Mommy, but would keep her memory with him always.

It caught me not only because the boy was obviously young and now how to move forward without the presence of his mother, but also because he was exposed to such a grim reality. I think all of us–young and old–lost a bit of innocence that day.  But even through the horrible reality, the child obviously understood he had to move on despite his loss. And like the little boy with a blue crayon, America seemed to follow suit.

Yes it was a sad day, but we all pressed forward. We do keep the memory with us always, but rejoice for what we have and look back with found memories for those we may have lost.