Today is always a grey day. It could be a sunny-not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kind of day, as it was 13 years ago, though it still feels grey. Grey as in somber mood. It is a day in which to remember….remember where you were when you heard the news, what everyday activity you were undertaking and the feeling of horror when the magnitude of the news set in.
For many citizens who live in the 12603 zip code, north of New York City, it is also a day to remember lives lost. As a bedroom community to New York City, many of the lives lost were neighbors, friends and relatives. People who were going to work, and going about their Monday September 11th scheduled appointments. Now, it is a day of service and remembrance.
I often pull a copy of a sweet little children’s book September Roses off the shelf to read on this day. In Jeanette Winter’s book, on September 11, 2001, two sisters from South Africa are flying to New York City with 2,400 roses to be displayed at a flower show. As their plane approaches the airport, a cloud of black smoke billows over the Manhattan skyline. When they land, they learn of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All flights are canceled; the sisters cannot go home, and they are stranded with boxes and boxes of roses.In the days that followed September 11, Jeanette Winter was drawn to Union Square and saw, among the hundreds of memorial offerings, twin towers made of roses. In the pages of this small and vibrant book, she tells a moving story.
It is a sweet story which emphasizes the good which came out of the tragic bombings on American soil in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. It is vital to remember the good which came out of the bad. While September 11th feels like a grey day, it is a day to remember the many good deeds which came about.