Sunday, September 11, 2011

One Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty, and Justice for All

On this, the tenth remembrance day of a tragedy that rocked us as individuals and our nation’s soul, I feel the sorrow, the fear, and the love triggered by the attacks. Most of all, I feel the love. My hand floats gently across the flag, folded in the triangle shape when given to my Mother upon my step-father’s death, the flag that draped the coffin of a man who served long before 9/11. I remember shaking it out of that triangular shape on September 11, 2001, climbing onto the rail of the front porch and securing it to the edge of the roof. I marveled at its size, it takes a lot to cover a coffin, and I realized it takes even more to kill the soul of a nation.

As it unfolded in the breeze, the sense of security it gave me against the attack upon our country was something I hadn’t expected, a gift passed on from an older generation of survivors. The day seemed endless. I watched the unfolding of events on TV. Reporters told of rescue workers never hesitating in New York, air travelers giving their lives in Pennsylvania, and our government rising from the rubble in Washington and still the flag flew. My gaze strayed from the scenes on the screen to the scene outside my window. Our flag was still there. It danced in the wind, lifting its stars and stripes toward the heavens, lifting my sorrow for our losses into an over-whelming sense of pride in the strength of our nation.

Today, ten years later, as my fingers stroke the stars of my step-father’s flag, the Star Spangled Banner plays in my head and the question at the end of our anthem lingers in my heart. Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave…

“Yes, it does,” I whisper as I unfurl the flag, “o’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”


John Wiswell said...

I hope you found some peace on that day, Deborah

DeborahB said...

Thanks John. I hope all those who lost someone in the attacks have found some peace.