A picture speaks 1,000 words and a word can inspire 1,000 pictures.
We are all here. Some will reflect, others will try to ‘move on’. But we are all here, whether we like it or not. We sit 10 years out from the day that changed EVERYTHING. I try to remember what pre-9/11 felt like and I can only think of how my kids have no reference point. They were too young when it happened to have memories of air travel without taking off their shoes or worrying about liquids in tiny bottles. They have no idea what it was like to live in a world that did not have colored levels of terrorist warnings.
This is their norm. And there is nothing about post 9/11 life that saddens me more.
I keep remembering a class trip being cancelled some time shortly after 9/11 because we were in orange and schools in our area would not cross bridges or tunnels in orange. My son asked me what color level they cancelled class trips for when I was his age. It was hard to explain to him that there were no terror threats when I was young. He simply did not understand this.
It was not his norm.
The photo above was taken by Susan. She usually sends me funny things that she sees. This time she sent me something that moved her. As she said, finally a red cup put to good use. (for those without teenagers, the proverbial red cup is synonymous with teen drinking).
In case you can not read the copy in the photograph I am inserting it here. This is a fabulous interactive piece of art that allows everyone who sees it to take part in its power. If you are in the neighborhood I encourage you to go out of your way to participate in this.
“In observance of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, illegal art has marked each of the 110 floors on the sidewalk with chalk, starting at 5th Avenue and 14th street and heading north for 1, 368 feet (417 meters), the height of the taller of the two towers.
Passersby, like yourself, are encouraged to walk the height of the once standing buildings along 5th Avenue and write any words that express your feeling or experience related to 9/11.
May the threats be idle and may you all heal but never forget the power of hate and the subsequent power of humanity that followed.
Sorry, third time in as many weeks that I am posting about loss. However, this one is quite different.
Sunday I had the pleasure (yes pleasure!) of attending a memorial service for someone who helped shape the woman I am today. Actually, not just me, but hundreds of women through the 60s and 70s. This woman, Alice Sternin, was the director of the summer camp I attended. I have posted about this idyllic place from my childhood before, as both my children are fortunate enough to share in the legacy.
I have never attended a service where there was as much laughter as tears. The essence of this woman was described by countless speakers. Everyone in the room shared the same memories of this tiny woman who was larger than life.
People traveled from all over the country. Family and friends spoke. One after another, stories were shared that sparked long forgotten memories for each one of us . When her famous lines were quoted, the entire room joined in unison. Treasured camp songs were sung and tears were shed for the loss, not just of this woman, but the childhood jewel this perfect place had been for all of us.
My daughter has had the good fortune to have had this same experience. The following is an excerpt from a letter I wrote to Jana and her girls at the end of their last summer as campers. This sums up what this woman built. And her legacy will carry on long after she is gone.
You are so very lucky to have this piece of your life. Camp is something that you cannot put a label on. There are no words to describe how you feel when you are with your girls. How the sight of the lake and mountains fill your heart in a way that nothing else in this world truly can. The essence of camp is ingrained in each and every one of you. It is part of what makes you who you are, and believe me, who you will always be. We are all beyond lucky to know these feelings.
Leaving is never easy. All these years later I still tear up as I walk out of camp and drink in one last moment of the place I love so much.
Never, NEVER, take this place for granted. Hold it close and it will never let you down.
Today, as I sat with MY girls so many years later, I felt the full weight of those words.
Here’s to you Big Al! The toughest camp director in the East. With the biggest heart! You will be dearly missed, but rest easy, your legacy will never die.
For photo enthusiasts, visit Leaving the zip code, photos from outside the comfort zone.