Remembering lives lost. Those who left and never came home.
Planes intersecting impossibly with buildings. Crumbling towers, thick black smoke. Across the screen again and again. Still we can’t believe. People jumping out of windows. This is not TV. Torn suits, blackened faces. Sky raining ashes, charred debris.
Giant shards of steel rising up from rubble, skeletal remains of what had been. Monuments to mankind, those who’ve gone before, those who risked their lives. Ground littered with fallen buildings, broken glass, and shattered lives.
Firefighters, emergency rescue, sirens wailing through the fog. Searching, digging, sifting. Hours run into days run into nights, waiting and wondering. Hope waning and burning bright. Faces lit in candlelight vigils. Flowers, posters, pictures taped and stapled, flapping in the wind. My daughter, my mother, my husband, my son. Any news? Anyone. Please.
When is it time to close the book, to end the chapter, to snuff out the candle and finally say goodbye? Wave farewell to the empty space because we don’t know where they are.
Memories in a photo montage. Here he is in high school, remember that hair? Our wedding, and here, with the kids. Big smiles everyone. Eyes glaze over, turning inward, remembering.
Life moves on through a maze of paper. Proof of a life once lived, documented in passports, policies, and bank statements. Every signature — yes, I can verify — another goodbye.
Healing comes slow. Hour by hour, year after year. Stitching back the remnants, a patchwork quilt. Something you hope resembles life before it was so torn.
Twelve years later. We don’t forget. Fountains and names engraved in cool granite reflecting the sun. A flicker of hope because the sun also rises on this space, in our lives, again.