This past weekend we remembered as individuals and groups the events of 9/11. Some wished to forget the past and get on with our lives. Others organized moments of silence and prayer vigils. Here in Grand Rapids, at the Ford museum, a line of scouts saluted the flag from sunrise to sunset. They came up one by one to pay their respects and remember 9/11. None of them were old enough to recall that day 20 years ago.
I still have visual flashbacks to video that played over and over on the television. The most vivid images were the people trapped on the higher floors, above the site of the plane crash. Several stay in my mind til this day. There was a couple holding hands as they jumped to a quick death rather that burn to death. Another person made the sign of the cross before jumping. A third young man took as if he took a swan dive to welcome a quick death.
We were all changed by the events and the photo legacy of that day. What I worry about is how we answer the questions of our children. More importantly what are the actions we show to others?
Are we teaching hatred or forgiveness? The people that caused the events are long dead. They can’t feel our hatred. But our children can. What is the legacy that we are teaching then?
With the rising of the dawn, the first boy salutes the flag.
The line of scouts will continue to pay their respects til sunset.
They have no memories of 20 years ago.
Adults whisper, asking, “Where were you that Morning?”
They all know the answer.
Glued to the television or radio.
what are the youth thinking as they wait.
What message have we taught them?
Do we hate or forgive?
The dead will not feel the hate,
but our children will.