9/11: Let Us Never Forget The Light


It's hard for me to fathom that it's been 19 years since 9/11.

Like so many other people, it literally feels as though it was only last month.

My dear, longtime blogging friend, Rob at The Luna Park Gazette, was actually there on that day. His office was in the Financial District; therefore, he saw much of 9/11 unfold before his very eyes. He writes about what he recalls in a very touching blog post, Retracing My Steps, if you would like to read it.

In fact, on one of my visits to Manhattan many years ago, I met Rob down in the Financial District and he showed me exactly where he was standing as he watched smoke pour out the North Tower and
the South Tower exploded into flames as the second plane hit the building. It was both chilling and sad to look up to where he was pointing and no longer see the Twin Towers.

One of the many things that moved me about what Rob shared in his blog post, was what he wrote at the end of the story in regards to the 9/11 memorial services that occur every year in New York City at the site...

"That’s why these memorial services are so important—because we do forget the things we should always remember. We need to be reminded of life’s fragility, how tomorrow is promised to no one, and how everything we hold dear can be taken away in a second."

He's right, we do need to remember what we learned from 9/11.

Which reminds me of what I've heard so many times before, "Why does it take a tragedy or a disaster to unify?"

But today, rather than focus on the tragedy of that day, I would like to focus on the good that came from it.

And yes, I do believe there was good because it so clearly revealed the dichotomy of what human beings are capable of.

Both darkness and light.

And that is why 9/11 is so bittersweet.

It was one of the most darkest days in America. Yet, it was also a day filled with tremendous light because it exemplified the natural instinct within humans to reach out and help others who are suffering.

In fact, whenever I watch documentaries on 9/11, what always moves me to tears are the acts of kindness that not only came from the people who were directly affected that day, but from people all over the U.S. and other parts of the world who offered their support and assistance. It was as if we were all experiencing the pain and suffering as one, desperate to help in any way we could.

Yes, 9/11 was horrendous. And it's something that still shakes me to the core.

However, I'm just as guilty as anyone else in forgetting what it taught me.

I often slip back to my unconscious-self, oblivious to how fragile life is. I lose sight of what's most important and what is not. I get wrapped up in how things only pertain to me, forgetting that this worldly experience is about "us."

I think the reason why this year seems to be affecting me more than previous years is because of what's been going on within the media and political landscape of America.

A lot of chaos and darkness.

But as I shared before, I have great faith in the spirit of the people in this country to rise above it all and come together in power.

And I truly believe that.

9/11 is a very potent reminder of how fragile life is; of what's really important; and just how much we have in common, regardless of our differences.

It is also a reminder of what will always prevail.

And that is...

...light.


If you have time this weekend and feel like doing so, please watch this short, uplifting documentary, narrated by Tom Hanks: BOATLIFT - An Untold Tale of 9/11 Resilience. I had no idea that this occurred on that day. It's such a perfect example of the light within us all.

And as one of the boatlifters so touchingly said in the documentary, "Everyone has a hero within them."


Have a beautiful weekend, everyone! 
 💗 + 💡

30 comments

  1. Beautiful expressed post, Ron! And I agree, with all that's going on in America at the moment, 9/11 feels even deeper than usual. Like you, no matter how much time passes, what happened on that day shakes me to the core. I've visited the memorial a few years ago and was so emotionally moved. I cried while walking through the museum. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to experienced it firsthand, like your friend. I'm sure it's something that never leaves you.

    Thank you for sharing this post today, Ron. When I get home from work today, I will definitely watch the documentary. It sounds really good! xo

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  2. Thanks, Ron, both for sharing this and for linking to your friend Rob's post -- both are outstanding, and they mean even more to those of us who didn't experience 9/11 in person.


    When I read that it's been 19 years since 9/11, I had to pause. Seriously? That long? Yes, so much has changed during that time (with much of the misery coming only in the last year or so). But I love the photo you've selected of the blue lights tribute and am hopeful that we neither forget what we've learned in the years since 9/11 nor fail to work together toward a happier future for all.


    Enjoy your weekend, my friend! xo

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  3. Thank you, (((Ron))), for another very heartfelt post (and also sharing Rob's post too).
    You are right, it certainly does not seem like it was that long ago.
    I will hold on to your belief that we can come out of the chaos and darkness because I don't enough faith in the country right now that we can come together and rise above it all. Of course, I might need to get off FB because if there is any hope for it... it's most definitely not there. LOL I laugh... but only to keep from crying. This is an emotional day, for sure.
    Sending you love and light and thanks for sharing your thoughts. xo And for the video too, I just watched quite a bit of it. Seeing how they got all those boats together for evacuations was truly amazing. Maybe I have just a bit more hope. Heroes really can be anywhere and everywhere.

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  4. Fantastic post, Ron. And thanks for the link to Rob's blog—I'm off to check it out.

    I don't know how anybody ever could forget 9/11. It's something we all lived through, even if we weren't physically present. I had to write a tribute to 9/11 blog post for a military client this week and it just brought back a flood of memories. It's a sad reminder of the tragedy that befell us that day, but I think it also speaks volumes about the resiliency of the American spirit.

    Have a great weekend, my friend.

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  5. What a heartfelt post, Ron! And you are so right, for as dark as 9/11 was, there was also a lot of light. I've seen many documentaries and movies about 9/11, and what blows me away is the courage of all the people who pitched in and did whatever they could offer to help out. It really goes to show you just how kind and compassionate humans can be. I will be sure to watch the doc you recommended because I am obsessed with anything that has to do with 9/11.

    Wonderful post, dude. And thank you for sharing it. I love that last photo of the lights!

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  6. Hey there Candice!

    " I've visited the memorial a few years ago and was so emotionally moved. I cried while walking through the museum. I can't even imagine what it must have been like to experienced it firsthand, like your friend. I'm sure it's something that never leaves you."

    You know, for as many times as I've visited the memorial pools, I've never been inside the museum. I really do need to visit though because I've seen documentaries on it. And I'm not surprised that you cried because I know I would too. In fact, I cry sometimes just visited the pools and reading the names.

    Yes, I too can't imagine what it must have been like for Rob seeing it with his own eyes. It was chilling just standing there with him, realizing he stood in that spot as it all unfolded.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a great weekend! And yes, check out the documentary, it's so uplifting and moving.
    X

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  7. Hey there Debbie!

    "...and they mean even more to those of us who didn't experience 9/11 in person."

    Yes, exactly! I remember reading Rob's post back in 2009 and being so moved. And then when I met him down by his office in the Financial District years ago, I was even more moved. He also took me to the church where the fire fighters and wounded were able to take refuge during the evacuation.

    I know, can you believe that it's been NINETEEN years?!? I swear to God, I can recall it as if it happened just yesterday.

    "But I love the photo you've selected of the blue lights tribute and am hopeful that we neither forget what we've learned in the years since 9/11 nor fail to work together toward a happier future for all."

    Amen, my friend. A-MEN! And I do have faith that things will get better. I truly do.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a beautiful weekend!

    X

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  8. You so welcome, Mary! I remember reading Rob's post back in 2009 and thought that I would highlight on my post this year because it really moved me.

    I know, doesn't it seem as thought it was only months ago? Time has FLOWN by.

    "I will hold on to your belief that we can come out of the chaos and darkness because I don't enough faith in the country right now that we can come together and rise above it all. Of course, I might need to get off FB because if there is any hope for it... it's most definitely not there. LOL I laugh... but only to keep from crying. This is an emotional day, for sure."

    Yes, I truly do believe that we can/will come out of the chaos and darkness because of the people. As far as politics go, no, I have no faith it them. But it's the people of this country who I have faith in. They will eventually get sick of all of this and take their power back. Other than my blog and Instagram, I don't partake in other social media because of what you said. It's all pollution. Nor, do I watch the news.

    Glad you enjoyed the video. OMG...it moved me to tears to see how those boats all came together and helped everyone to get off Manhattan Island.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor. Sending you much love and light too!

    ((((((((((((((((((((((((( YOU )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

    X

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  9. The horror of that day never diminishes, no matter how much time has passed. It’s been a challenging year, which I think makes 9/11 even more difficult to think about once again. I’m trying to focus on the good in people, like the California National Guard story right now.

    Thanks for your positive energy through this post, Ron. I hope you have a peace filled weekend. XO

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  10. Hey there Mark!

    You are so welcome. Rob's post is so moving and heartfelt. I don't know HOW he ever went through all of that. And seeing it firsthand had to have been horrendous.

    You're right, I don't think anybody could ever forget 9/11. And not only here in America, but all over the world.

    " I had to write a tribute to 9/11 blog post for a military client this week and it just brought back a flood of memories. It's a sad reminder of the tragedy that befell us that day, but I think it also speaks volumes about the resiliency of the American spirit."


    I agree. It speaks VOLUMES about the resiliency of the American spirit, and people overall. And I'm sure your blog post was excellent!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaabulous weekend!

    X to you and Tara

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  11. "I’m trying to focus on the good in people, like the California National Guard story right now."

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Wasn't that AMAZING????? You see, this is what I mean about the "light" within the darkness. It's people like the California National Guard and their bravery in doing what they did that shows us just how awesome people can be in helping others in need.

    I agree, it's been a challenging year, making 9/11 even more difficult to think about again.

    Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing that story, my friend. You've added much positivity to this post!

    Have a peace filled weekend as well!

    X

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  12. Hiya Matt!

    Yes, for all the darkness that day, there was a TON of light going on!

    "I've seen many documentaries and movies about 9/11, and what blows me away is the courage of all the people who pitched in and did whatever they could offer to help out. It really goes to show you just how kind and compassionate humans can be. "

    Yes, me too. And that's how I felt watching the Boatlift documentary. OMG...it's so moving! And for as much as I knew about 9/11, I knew nothing of that. I had no idea!? You'll LOVE it!

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a most excellent weekend!

    X

    I found that photo online. Isn't it stunning?

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  13. Ron, being a New Yorker 9/11 affects me very deeply. I was still living on Long Island when it happened and I remember that day so clearly. I can't believe how quickly 19 years have passed. It's unbelievable. I'm so happy that they were able to have the memorial (name reading) service because weeks ago they said they were going to cancel it due to Covid. I watched it this morning as soon as it came on. My husband and I both were very emotional, listening to family members talk about the people they lost. With what's going on in America right now, it make 9/11 all the more difficult.

    I've seen the video you highlighted on this post about two years ago. It's wonderful! It made me proud to be a New Yorker because of how resilient and determined we are when it comes to hard knocks. I wept watching that documentary. It's so touching.

    Thank you so much for sharing this today, Ron. And thank you for keeping it positive because you're right, there was a lot of light that day. And that's what we have to always remember.

    Bless you! xo

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  14. Helloooooooo Elaine!

    Yes, I was thinking of all my New Yorker blogging friends when I was putting this post together. I too watching the memorial services this morning. In fact, I went grocery shopping very early this morning and got home EXACTLY at the moment they started. Yup, I too was very emotional. I got teary-eyed when the young fire fighter talked about losing his father, who was also a fire fighter) on 9/11. I know, I'm so glad they went through with the services. And I'm so happy that they insisted.

    Isn't the documentary AMAZING? I discovered it on YouTube around 2-3 years ago. I had not idea about the boatlifts. And can you believe how many people they got off Manhattan Island that day???

    Thanks so much for stopping by, neighbor! Sending you and your husband lots of love and a hug on this day.

    (((((((((((((( XXXXX YOU + HUSBAND XXXXX))))))))))

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  15. Ron, I can't thank you enough for sharing your thoughts and feeling about 9/11 because with all the chaos and darkness going on in this country, we need to be reminded of the LIGHT. I was in New York City only days before the towers were hit. In my job that I had at that time, I traveled into the city 1-2 a month for business.

    You're right, why is it after something like 9/11 do we forget what we learned? And I'm guilty of that too. So, thanks for the reminder.

    I love the two photos you used in this post. It always makes me sad not seeing those towers as part of the NYC skyline.

    I'm going to watch that documentary tonight. Thanks!

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  16. Hi Daniel! So nice to see your comment!

    " I was in New York City only days before the towers were hit. My job that I had at that time, I traveled into the city 1-2 a month for business."

    Wow! Isn't it something to look back on the events that transpired around that day and where we were. I was in New York a month and a half before the attack. I went to the observation deck in late July of that year with my ex-boss from Florida. We met in the city. She came in from Florida, I came in from Philadelphia. I even have photographs of she and I on the roof.

    Aren't those photos beautiful? I didn't take them, I found them online. I really love the one of the beams of light.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, sir. Have a terrific weekend!

    Enjoy the documentary. It's not very long, but it covers a lot of what happened that day when it comes to the boats that help people get off Manhattan Island.

    X

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  17. Ron, I can't thank you enough for sharing my post! It's very kind of you, though, honestly, I think you could have quoted far more talented writers than yours truly.

    My post for today is a bit dark, given the coronavirus and the corrosive political climate, so I'm grateful that you are able to see the light during these trouble times.

    Like you, I often forget that most important lesson that 9/11 should have taught us about being grateful. And I am very grateful indeed that we are friends.

    Take care, buddy, and stay safe.

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  18. http://ladyfi.wordpress.comSeptember 12, 2020

    What beautiful shots.

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  19. Yes, aren't they beautiful, Fiona! The minute I saw them online, I knew I needed to use them for this post.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a beautiful weekend!
    X

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  20. Hey there Rob!

    I tell you all the time, you're such a talented writer. You really are. And your post was perfect for how I wanted to express myself today, on 9/11.

    Yes, America is going through a very chaotic and dark time. However, I truly do have faith in the "people" that we will rise above it all in power.

    And in light!

    Thanks so much for not only stopping by, but for also giving me the inspiration to write this.

    Have a beautiful weekend. And tell New York I said, " I love you!"

    Peace, buddy!
    X

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  21. Ron, just wanted to pop back to tell you that I watched the documentary last night while sipping on a glass of red wine (my nightly ritual LOL!). It was wonderful! I cried at some parts. I cried when that one man started crying about the man thanking him for picking his son up with his boat.

    And Tom Hanks' voice was perfect for the film because it was so calming.

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  22. Thanks for stopping back, Candice. Glad you enjoyed it. I too cried at that part. He got so choked up and emotional, that I couldn't help but get choked up and emotional as well. And you're right, the voice of Tom Hanks was perfect for the film!

    *I have a glass of red wine every night too. LOL!

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  23. Thank you Ron for this post. It was deeply moving to me. As a NJ native, I remember the WTC as they were and even before they were fully built. And, like so many others, I will always remember what I was doing the day they fell being home after being "downsized" and at home with no idea of what had happened. A friend called and told me to turn on the TV and from then on I was "glued" to newscasts for the next 24 hours or more, falling asleep with rebroadcasts. Reading this post brought back many memories of that day and aftermath. It's one of the days I will never forget, no matter how many years have gone by and 19 is so many years. To this day, I have not been to the memorial site. Perhaps, one day I will visit, but will always remember regardless.

    Sadly, you are so right about this year being one of chaos and darkness and, as you said, life is very fragile in view of past and present tragedies. It seems that people still have not fully learned from the past and how to come together. That said, I watched the Boatlift documentary which was a first-time view and so moving that I silently wept. Thank you for including the link to this amazing documentary. I also read Rob's post and his first-hand account also made me weep. Thank you for that link as well.

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  24. Ron, sorry I'm late to comment but I had major issues with my internet connection at my apartment that started Thursday night. They finally corrected the problem this morning. UGH!

    Beautiful post! I love how you focused on the good because I agree with you, there was a great deal of good that came from 9/11. And you would think that our government would remember those things and stop creating more and more friction and division. It makes me sick to see what's happening today within political landscape. And the media only adds fuel to the fire.

    I'm so happy they went ahead and had the memorial services because now more than ever did we need to reflect on those who passed on that day, and all the people who reached out to help.

    Love both the photos you posted!

    Thank you for your positive energy, Ron xo

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  25. Hey there D!

    " As a NJ native, I remember the WTC as they were and even before they were fully built. And, like so many others, I will always remember what I was doing the day they fell being home after being "downsized" and at home with no idea of what had happened. A friend called and told me to turn on the TV and from then on I was "glued" to newscasts for the next 24 hours or more, falling asleep with rebroadcasts. "

    I know, and YOU being from NJ were even closer to what was going on than I in Philadelphia. I had just moved back from Florida at the end of May and had gone up to the observation deck at the end of July while I was in NY with some friends. It was only a month and a half later when the towers fell. Isn't it something how everyone knows exactly what they were doing when they heard the news that day?

    I've been to the site probably about 4-5 times since its completion. However, I've never been to the museum.

    " ...life is very fragile in view of past and present tragedies. It seems that people still have not fully learned from the past and how to come together."

    Yes. But I am keeping the faith that the people will wake up and do what they usually do in times like this...come together. I'm hoping and praying that it happens.

    Wasn't the documentary wonderful? For as short as it was, it really packed a lot of information about what transpired that day with the boats. I had idea that it even happened.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you're enjoying a fabulous weekend! We finally got so relief from the heat and humidity. Yesterday and today were HEAVEN!

    X

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  26. Hola Denise!

    Oh no worries, girl. No apologies needed. Isn't it horrible when you lose internet or phone service? It's like you're literally cut off from the world. Many years ago, I lost internet AND phone service for OVER a week. OMG...it was so frustrating. Glad you got it back on!

    And I agree with you...

    " And you would think that our government would remember those things and stop creating more and more friction and division. It makes me sick to see what's happening today within the political landscape. And the media only adds fuel to the fire."

    You are so right about all of that! I'll tell you though, ever since I stopped watching the news, I feel so much better. Last week, I tuned into the news online for 1/2 hour and I was not at all surprised that NOTHING was new. They were talking about the same old shit that they've been talking about for the past 6 months.

    "I'm so happy they went ahead and had the memorial services because now more than ever did we need to reflect on those who passed on that day, and all the people who reached out to help."

    Me as well. I didn't watch it all, but I did tune in when it first started in the morning. It was so moving!

    I got those photos online. Aren't they gorgeous?

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you're weekend has been a great one!

    X

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  27. That last photo is really powerful. We all should speak light in the darkness. And there is a lot of darkness right now. It is hard to believe it's been 19 years. Today's college freshman were just born and the entire Gen Z generation (and younger Millennials) only have what is written in textbooks about the event. There's an entire generation who have never experienced the horror of a terrorist attack on their country. I wonder what they would do if faced with one tomorrow? The aftermath was amazing as it dissolved partisan lines, erased the color of skin and we all were only Americans....banding together for our country. I wish we could once again have the 9/12 mentality from 19 years ago.....but without the attack. Wonderful tribute. Thank you. X

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  28. Lisa, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE what you said here...

    "The aftermath was amazing as it dissolved partisan lines, erased the color of skin and we all were only Americans....banding together for our country. I wish we could once again have the 9/12 mentality from 19 years ago.....but without the attack."

    Yes! And......Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaamen!

    And you're so right, there is an entire generation who didn't experience it. Only what's written in textbooks.

    I know, can you believe it's been 19 years!?!? That truly blows my mind because it feels like yesterday. Literally.

    Isn't that photo wonderful? I wish I took it. I found it online, and it said exactly what I was feeling.

    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have a grrrrrreat week!

    X

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  29. Ron, the documentary was wonderful! Thank you for sharing it and I'm so glad I watched it. As you said, bittersweet.

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  30. So glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Yes, isn't it such a WONDERFUL documentary? It shows the BEST of people!

    X

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