Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ride to the September 11 Flag Memorial, Tempe Beach Park, 9/11/2010

I rode the single speed down to Tempe to have a look at the 3000 flags they put up last night as a memorial to those who perished at the World Trade Center. They've been doing this for several years, but this is the first time I went there in person. Each flag had a piece of paper with a name and a personal story on it. I was most moved by people who were searching for specific names. If they lost someone they were connected with on that day, it still must be hard nine years later.

The papers, blogs, and news sites are full of opinions and observations about what the events of today mean, or should mean, or how they relate to the current state of the world. For me, though, the thousands of flags waving in the breeze on this hot September morning, with the sounds of jet planes roaring overhead, filled me with an overwhelming silence. It emptied me. I searched myself for tolerance, understanding, compassion, or some other emotion, even anger, but at that moment I just felt weighted down.

The ride home was silent for me--no words, no thoughts, no plans for what to post or what to do. Just quiet. I did retain the intellectual conviction that tolerance, understanding, connectedness, compassion, control of emotional reactions, and so on, are worthy concepts for consideration on this day. But it was just intellectual; I didn't feel it. I'm certainly not giving up on those concepts. Far from it. Just trying to understand this feeling I came away from the flags with. The feeling I rode away with. The one I'll be thinking about tomorrow. Get up. Go ride.

1 comment:

  1. I took a few minutes today to remember where I was, and what I was doing that morning.
    Seems so surreal even today.
    Good post.


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