Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Remembering 9/11

This is a piece I posted in June on my other blog, Mimorian. I wrote this after seeing United 93 and thought it would be appropriate to post here as a 9/11 remembrance, albeit a day late.

Many of us remember exactly where we were and precisely what we were doing when the reports started hitting the news, though I have talked to a few that do not. I remember those moments and I'm struck by the irony of the situation in which I found myself that day. You see, my father was in the critical care unit after having quadruple bypass surgery. I arrived at the hospital on 9/11 around 6am Arizona time, 9am New York time. As I walked into the CCU I noted that the only sounds were the click of respirators, IV machines ... and the sound of many televisions all tuned to the same news channel. Every television in the unit was on, even those in rooms with unconcious patients and no visitors. Doctors and nurses were going about their duties caring for the critically ill while watching the unfolding horror. We were all stunned by the apparent accident at Tower #1. A second plane tunneled into the remaining Tower as a nurse tended to Dad's multiple lifesaving tubes. This was no accident.

When the second plane hit, I remember a word appearing, almost visually, in capital letters across my brain ... INTENTIONAL. That one word stayed right with me for a moment that seemed timeless. I don't know how long I stood there staring and not really seeing or hearing anything more than INTENTIONAL. I pulled back to reality as an alarm went off in another CCU room signaling a life-threatening crisis. Doctors and nurses ran. There was frantic activity to save the life of the one in distress. I stepped out of my Dad's room and took a good look at the men and women working the CCU. I looked back at the television screen showing the death and destruction wrought by a few upon many, but my eyes and ears and entire being were drawn to the many near me that were working hard to save the lives of a few. I can't get that juxtaposed image out of my mind ... nor do I want to. That image keeps me from a bitterness and pessimism that could so easily take over. No matter how dark the world may be sometimes, this image I carry with me is a reminder of a light and goodness that just can't be extinguished.

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