Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seeds of Change - Remembering 9/11

I kneeled on the hard concrete outside of my office to try to get a picture with 
my phone's camera of the delicate daisy 
that managed to squeeze itself in between the cracks of the cement. 
It was bright yellow and white and looked tall and proud. 
I loved the fact that the flower (under such tremendous odds), grew, bloomed 
and thrived in such harsh conditions. 
I wanted a picture to remind me of the smile it gave me.

Sixty miles away, at the same time...a plane had just crashed into the 
north tower of the World Trade Center.
Only sixty miles away, yet worlds apart. 
And in mere seconds lives were changing forever.

Words were tumbling from the mouths of people on the street and the radio 
was filled with the horrific details of what was happening minute by minute.

2,819  innocent victims - wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters were not going to be coming home. Ever again.

 Tears streamed down our faces as we stood, breathless. 
We heard the words and felt the panic...yet couldn't come to the realization of what was actually happening until the vivid imagery began. 
The desperation, the fear and the unfathomable pictures of what people were experiencing 
and witnessing at that second was almost to much to bare.  
Our hearts were breaking watching the people weep while holding on 
to one another in thick dust and ash. 

I remember the dis-belief. I remember fearing the unknown. 
I remember thinking I wanted it all to go away, 
yet when I picked up the paper and turned on the tv there it was again. 
And the more I didn't want to see it, the more I would find myself looking for it.

A picture has that effect. It has the power to make you feel. 
Whether the emotion is sadness, desperation, fear, love, hope or happiness. 

What we hold is not just a piece of paper, it's history. It's seeing the truth...however ugly or pretty that truth might be. 
We are forever changed by a vision. 
We become more compassion and we can relate more then we ever thought possible because of it. 
Seeing is in fact believing. 

The imagery from 9/11 brought our country closer. It impacted us all to the core of our souls. 
In a world that leaves little time these days for passing time with our neighbors, 
it forced us to unite with one another.

I have often wondered since that day what it would have been like to not have experienced the imagery of 9/11. 
Would we have known the devastation by mere words? 
Would we have believed the stories or were the images a narration 
of the events and heartache? 
Could it have ever been described in words alone?

I have always known the importance of a picture...but I didn't know the effect, until that day. 
That a single image can bring a country to it's knees...
and yet still...unite our resolve and resilience. 

Beyond the gray and bleak pictures of a city that once was, were the faces of raw emotion. 
People clinging to strangers, as the country was clinging to hope.

Where the Twin Towers once stood tall and proud was a gaping hole like what was felt in our hearts. 
Among the rubble now, in it's place stood our American flag the same way...tall and proud. 
A small, but meaningful paradox among the ruins. 
In a way it reminded me of that flower I saw hours earlier. 
A seed that we needed to sow...and
'from a small seed, a mighty trunk may grow.'

Photograph by: Thomas E. Franklin ( 

Named one of the top 100 photographs that changed the world in Life magazine.

If a photograph can change the world...imagine what 'we the people ' can do?!

Ten years today we still mourn while picking up the pieces of our past. 
However, we use those same very pieces to help us build a better tomorrow.

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