Thursday, September 11, 2008

Photostory Friday: September 11: A Snapshot in Words

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek




These pictures are of my daughter at the Healing Field. The Healing Field was begun by a flag company, here in Utah, following the tragedy of September 11, 2001. It has now spread around the nation, and the world. The concept of the Healing Field, was originally to display a field of  American Flags, with the names of each victim of the terrorist attacks. One flag for each victim. The idea has now grown to include a flag for each member of the armed services, killed in the war on terror. It is a poignant and sobering experience to walk through row upon row upon row of American flags, and to contemplate the price of liberty. If you get a chance to experience a Healing Field, do it. 
When the attacks of September 11 took place, I began, immediately, to collect all the newspapers and magazines and other sources that documented those first few days. I knew we were in the midst of one of those experiences that a generation never forgets. But, I also knew that over time perceptions would change about the day, and I wanted to remember what it was like at that very moment. I keep these items in a box, that I have not opened for several years now. That night, after I finally turned off the television, and put the kids to bed, I couldn't sleep. So I went to the computer, and started to write. I came across this in my box of articles yesterday. It is my first impressions of the day. Some of it turned out to be inaccurate, but it was interesting to see this first snapshot:




The skies tonight are quiet. They belong to the clouds and the birds and the stars. There are no aircraft anywhere in the skies above America tonight. All flights have been grounded indefinitely, because of a horrendous act of terrorism perpetrated upon the United States of America this morning.
At about 6:45 this morning, a passenger plane crashed into one of the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, in New York City. Twenty minutes later, another plane crashed into the other tower. Within an hour, both towers had fallen. A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a fourth went down in a Pennsylvania field. It was determined that each plane was hijacked in a coordinated terrorist attack. It is thought that the plane in Pennsylvania may have been heading for the White House, or another D.C. target. Two men were arrested, in New York City, with a truck full of explosives, possibly intending to blow up the George Washington Bridge. 
America suffered a tremendous blow today, and the nation, and the world are reeling. I do not know exactly how to feel. My emotions have run the entire spectrum. From grief and anger at the senseless violence, to pride, at the way volunteers appeared, almost instantaneously, to offer assistance where they could. I have been to the point of tears many times today, for many reasons. 
How do we cope with such a tragedy? How do we go on in the face of terror? Can we recover? I think the answer to the last question is an emphatic YES! Terrorism's greatest strength is fear, but fear can be managed. Terrorism gains strength, from the immobilization of it's victims. By submitting to fear, we give the perpetrators a victory. America is not a nation driven by fear. There is a reason that terrorism does not, and will not, succeed in America. Instead of cowering and falling into chaos and anarchy, Americans react, by coming together. 
Today we are shocked. Tomorrow we will begin to pick up the pieces, and to rebuild our cities. And our lives. Rather than divide us, national tragedy makes us all the more aware of who we are. We are Americans. Whether we live in New York, Washington D.C. or Salt Lake City, at these times, we are more conscious of our connections to one another, as citizens of the United States of America. Such events do not destroy us; they galvanize us into one nation. A nation, with the capacity to cope with such heinous acts, and to rise above them, as the bright, shining star of freedom in the world. 
Perhaps then, it is appropriate tonight that the skies are silent and empty, so as not to detract from the star of freedom and liberty. In the words of Thomas Paine, "These are the times that try men's souls." 
In the next few days, we will see many acts of heroism, because that is what America is: A nation of heroes. 
Never forget this day.


34 comments:

photomommy said...

Wow. Your writing took my breath away. Those are lovely photos, something you should frame and keep forever.

Mandy said...

Great post.

Love all the pics, first one should be framed!

utmomof5 said...

great post about and awful day. Great photos too!!

MamaGeek said...

This was a fantastic tribute Chris.

It is still so haunting. And I will NEVER forget either.

tommie said...

This brought tears to my eyes. Though I didn't know any one who lost a life on 9/11.....I do know several wives who are now widows as a result of their husbands going to war. This was my biggest fear during my husband's deployment: that his name would be on one of these flags on a memorial field. The day he came home, Dec 17, 2007 was my healing day!

I do hope it brings healing to those who visit.

Thanks for visiting my story! happy weekend!

Cecily R said...

Your writing is just as stunning as your photographs Chris. This was a beautiful post. Truly.

Mom24 said...

That is so beautiful, verbally and visually. Thank you.

Angela said...

Stunning shots and a beautiful tribute for 9/11. I did my very first PSF this week.

Indrani said...

SAD really. Good you recorded your emotions then, certain thoughts are best expressed then and there. Nice shots too, may she never see such a dark day in future.

Crazymamaof6 said...

perfect choice for this weeks PSF.
i am now inspired to take my herd to our own Healing Field.

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

Truly a day we will never forget. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.
If you do Sky Watch Friday Abe might comment on your blog! :) Today was my first SWF.

Tiaras & Tantrums said...

beautiful - amazing - gorgeous!
WOW

Aaron said...

I love those shots.

God Bless America.

I quote those priceless words of Jack and Wang:

"Here's to the Army and Navy, and the battles they have won. Here's to America's colors, the colors that never run.
May the wings of Liberty never lose a feather."

;)

imbeingheldhostage said...

Absolutely breathtaking. What a beautiful way to acknowledge that terrible day. Over here (the UK), the date could've slipped by unnoticed for us. The news didn't cover memorials and our schools didn't observe a moment of silence. But we knew. I wonder if there will ever be a time that we stop knowing. I certainly hope not-- with posts like this, I don't think we will forget.

Susan said...

Beautiful! I wish I had taken the time to write my thoughts down that day. I didn't. But I did post my experience that day on my blog yesterday. Being in Pennsylvania and close enough to NYC that many members of our community commute there, we were directly impacted. I hope none of us ever forgets the emotions of that day.
Great shots. I would love to visit there someday.

Robyn said...

I would love to see a Healing Field. Beautiful photos and words. To add to your picking up the pieces we flew about 2 weeks after. it was such a different experience to what we consider normal now.

scrappysue said...

stunning photos, and you write very well.

KATE said...

What a great post! I loved it, thanks so much for sharing it!

I absolutely love the pictures! Too precious!

Karin said...

I find the pictures beautifully poignant and heart-breaking and your writing is stunning.

Krystyn said...

What a great piece of writing and great story. You daughter looks so happy.

And, I wish mine would come soon, but I don't think it's very likely!

Amanda D said...

Incredible pictures, and great writing. What a perfect tribute to 9/11. THanks.

Killlashandra said...

What a great idea. I've never heard of a Healing Field before it's a wonderful tribute. Great pictures too. :)

Steph said...

That brought me to tears. Thank you for sharing. One day I will visit the healing feild.
Your pictures are beautiful.
And thanks for visiting my blog! :)

Debbie in CA : ) said...

Moving ... genuine ... emotional ... poignant -- I weep as I read this. Thank you for saving those articles and photos and emotions. We must never forget; we must go on, but not in ignorance or willful mis-remembering as our media seems intent on doing. I have been so touched to see people all over the blog-world commemorate and reflect on this day ... that changed the world. Bless you for your words.

Bren said...

Beautifully written! I teared up reading your words, remembering that day. I wish I'd thought to write such a tribute on that day.

That second photo is priceless!

Crazy Mama said...

stunning photos. I was teary looking at them and barely made it through your post.

Casey's trio said...

I love the concept of the Healing Field and the beautiful pictures that you captured there. And we are a nation of heroes.

angie said...

What a gift you've shared with us in printing your thoughts after 9/11. Thank you!

And thanks for stopping by....

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

Your writing and photos -- and the Healing Field story behind them -- are all so beautiful.

Laura@Storytellin' Mama said...

Amazing writing... a really thoughtful response to an event hard to absorb!!

Love the pictures too!!

lisaschaos said...

Love your photos! And you are so right, it's just sad that we can't feel united without the tragedy first.

Hannah Noel said...

Beautiful pictures.. I've never heard of a Healing Field, but I'll definitely keep an eye out for one in the future.
Thanks for the great post :)

Queen to my 3 Boys said...

What a post!

The pictures say a thousand words too!

stefanie said...

Your pictures and your reflections are stunning.