It’s hard to avoid remembering that today is September 11. The anniversary. I saw the posts starting last night on facebook. We didn’t read or watch a lot of news in the last couple of days.
I think I’m glad we didn’t. I think I’m glad I was on the road today. I didn’t want to watch the planes hitting the towers again. I didn’t want to engage in the endless rehashing of what happened 11 years ago.
A friend on facebook this afternoon said that he knew it was going to be an unpopular sentiment, but it was time to move on. Time to get over it. While I don’t necessarily agree with that exact expression, I am ready to move forward. To remember and honor the past but to keep living in this life.
I almost missed the memorial on the roadside in Imboden. I drove by it, and had to think twice for a moment about turning around and stopping for a minute. It was a long drive home. I didn’t have the time. But I turned around anyway. I didn’t realize it was exactly what it was. Stories of those sons and daughters. The details of their deaths. Rows and rows of them. I could have wandered through them for hours, but I didn’t have hours.
I took a few pictures and got back on the road.
And while I was riding through the Ozarks, headed to this life that I’m building in a place I never thought it would be, I remembered where I was on 9-11 and what it was like to be frightened yet responsible for those kids. I gave thanks for my life not being further disrupted. And I was reminded of that this morning when I drove away from that traveling memorial. There are mighty reasons to pause and give thanks for those who are willing to sacrifice and those who paid the price without signing up to do so. And there are mighty reasons to continue on with life, to do the things that we are normally doing, to live our lives.
Tonight when I got home and was looking at my photos, I realized that I could have done so much better with them. And it struck me that it is perhaps an apt metaphor. We can do so much better. We should be doing so much better.
It is not forgetting. It is honoring. It works for me.