9/11 Essay with photos of the Memorial in New York City at Ground Zero

My grandson Max was born on 9/11, but 10 years before the tragic event on 9/11/2001. So for ten years I was able to celebrate his birthday without any intervening bad news. Now, of course, I have mixed feelings: I want to celebrate his birthday and I also want to pay homage to the tragic events on 9/11 and all the people who died in the towers or planes that day and all those who were working in the wreckage of the towers and subsequently died from the fumes, the dust, and the chemicals that spewed into the air, even though the person in charge of the EPA said the air was safe!


In the Smithsonian Institute Magazine as well as in a documentary last night, there were interviews with young people born in 2001 0r 2002, whose fathers who died in the planes or the buildings. These children are now 20 years old or almost 20 years old, and their stories are quite revealing about how they view life because of this tragic event right before they were born.

Just as Pearl Harbor may have been the most tragic event of my early years, 9/11 for people in the single numbers or just born on that day or soon after have their own tragic event. And with the pandemic, we are losing thousands and thousands of people from bacteria, so we are “at war” with this virus and the battle is still raging.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 will be hard for many of us. Interestingly, it takes place during the 10 Days of Awe between Rosh Hoshana (The Jewish New Year) and Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement), a very solemn time to review this past year and see where we have offended anyone and make amends. Instead of reviewing our mistakes as sins, we view them as “missing the mark” and offer our heartfelt apologies to those people we may have offended or hurt.

Reading the stories in the Smithsonian and watching the documentary has given me hope that young people of today are aware that we are a global village and what happens to people in one country can happen everywhere, as COVID 19 has shown.

Let us use 9/11 as a time to pause and take stock of ourselves and our world and see what we can do to make our global village safer, cleaner, and filled with empathy and compassion, instead of hate. If each person does this, we could feel a shift in our energies and emerge as a world where peace and wholeness are possible and an environment where it is safe to breathe, swim, eat, and sleep. I wish for such as world NOW! and since I believe each person can make a difference, I plan
to sign up for a Climate Reality project and continue to post information on the environment on my website.

Stay safe! Stay positive! Stay vigilant!  ellensue


P.S. I wrote this on Friday aft. and post-dated it for tomorrow at 9:11 am.

Guest Posting: Extinction or Distinction by Etta Lerman

NOTE: Etta is in my creative writing class and her essay seems very appropriate follow up for Earth Day and COVID issues. Thanx, Etta!

I have read and reread Maya Angelou’s poem “On The Pulse of Morning” that she read at Bill Clinton’s first inaugural in 1993. In that poem she speaks of a Rock, a River and a Tree, metaphors for our existence here on earth. I have found it truly inspirational and I would like to transpose those elements to ruminate on what we have learned in this past year of a sequestered life due to the pandemic.

Let me start with the Tree, stalwart, long lived, perhaps as long as 200 years or even more. The roots grow deep within the soil spreading out in all directions, unseen and exceedingly strong. It stands tall, proud and majestic but beyond its beauty it has a purpose. It serves to keep our forests temperate, shelters other living creatures, and helps to purify the air we breathe.

The River tends to wend its way uniting one community to another. It provides water for our sustenance, can be recreational and is a spawning place for a variety of precious species of life. Even as we contemplate its beauty, rippling and sparkling in the sun, does it not remind us of the many tears that have been shed, the many friends and relatives who will never again be able to experience this simple pleasure?

Now we come to the Rock, sedentary and almost indestructible. And that’s where we humans come into the picture. For a solid year we have been living sheltered beneath a rock. We are just beginning to crawl out from under. We are learning to congregate with other human beings. We have been self-absorbed, but have had time to contemplate. For the lack of so many creature comforts, we have a new appreciation of what life is about. Will we ever shake another hand, kiss a baby, attend a concert, a play or a movie without remembering what it was like when we were deprived of these commonplace things? Will we still feel the weight of the rock on our back because we are privileged enough to have survived? I think you will agree, it  has been a hard lesson to learn, but all the more precious.



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