Sunday, September 11, 2011

The Healing Field

I had prepared a post for today, recounting that surreal morning 10 years ago today: how it felt, what we heard, the way we were glued immoveable to our televisions, how it changed us.


And then I went to The Healing Field, where today became far less about remembering the moments of that day and completely about the people: victims, heros, and survivors.


The Healing Field here in West Michigan was one of 16 locations nationally, where a flag was planted for each life lost that day.  One flag per life planted in rows and rows, columns and columns, more than 3,200 in total, arranged with military precision.

 

These flags told the stories of those who were lost that day.


They were firemen...



They were police officers...




They were fathers...




They were mothers...




They were mothers- and children-to-be...




They were children...




They were daughters...




They were newlyweds and fiances...






They were fathers who would never hold their sons...





They were grandparents...




They were uncles...




They escaped from danger, seeking a better future...






They belonged to other countries...




 They are missed by those who loved them...




They are missed by those who can still find humor in life that remains...






Walking among those flags with my family, two of whom weren't yet born on 9/11, was moving and overwhelming.  My oldest, who was six that day, stood next to me at the top of the flags, looking down at the field of flags before us, and expressed how awful she felt for these people and their families.  I spoke to her of how, yes, we do feel awful and we wish for a world in which they could have lived out their potential and realized their futures.  We wish to have the innocence back that was taken from us that day. And how we should be thankful - so thankful - that there are not additional fields of flags representing people lost in later events; thankful for our police, leaders and military for the ten years we've had of homeland peace. 


And that's when I saw this:




Innocence.  Joy.  Hope.  A bright future.  The proof that they did not win that day.











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