11 years later, I stil have a hard time saying the words “September 11th.”
There’s just a huge load of baggage that comes with those words, in that order. If I schedule a dentist appointment, or a meeting, I’ll confirm the date as “The 11th” or “The 11th of September” just to avoid having to say the words “September 11th.”
I hate that this date has been so stolen from us, but it was. Evil happened on this day, and it is associated with images, words, and sounds, that none of us will ever forget.
And that’s fine.
But today, the most frightening day in many of our lives, is also the best day in someone’s life. Today is someone’s birthday.
Tomorrow is someone’s birthday. Tomorrow is someone’s wedding anniversary.Yes, evil happened on 9/11, but so did something beautiful.
— Buzz Bishop (@buzzbishop) September 11, 2012
That was a tweet I posted last night. Within seconds I received a reply from Erik who is celebrating his wife’s birthday, and from Shannon who will blow out candles with her dad today.
I congratulated them on their family celebrations and asked Shannon what it’s like to have this day as a cause for happiness in her house.
“Living well is the best revenge against those who wish to hamper that,” she said.
The events in New York haven’t affected her family’s day for her dad, she added. “Death, in its many forms is a part of life. Running joke is that we can’t forget his birthday now.”
Dahlia Gruen turned 10 as the towers fell in 2001, and started birthdayspirit.org in the months following to try and reclaim the day for good.
On September 11, 1999 I was at Jamie and Erin’s wedding. Today they celebrate their 13th anniversary, and their Facebook page is gushing with congratulations. As it should.
So, today, instead of being inundated with all the images, words, and sounds that my memory doesn’t need to be reminded of to remember, I will think of the thousands of little boys and girls who are turning 11. There is a collection of awkwardly cute 5th and 6th graders, and their parents, who deserve to have this day be something special.
Think of how you felt the day you gave birth to your kids. Think of how you felt on September 11. Now imagine if both of those things happened on the same day.
Evil happened on the 11th of September, yes it surely did. But so did something beautiful. Today, I will let beautiful win.
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