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Remembering 9/11.

This coming Sunday will mark the 10-year anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11. Like many historic moments, I can remember exactly where I was when I learned about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center. I was still at home, but Joe had just arrived at work at the old pharmacy downtown in Lovejoy Plaza. I was listening to the radio and heard announcers talking about a seeming accident in which a plane had crashed into one of the Towers. I went downstairs and turned on the television.

I was watching the news and the live coverage when the second plane flew into the second tower and suddenly it was no longer an accident. I tried to call the pharmacy then to see if Joe knew what was happening, and, in one of the scariest moments of my life, found that all the circuits were busy and, something I did every day without much thought–making a phone call–was impossible. I remember wondering if the whole country was under attack. Would planes come flying in over rural Plain City dropping bombs? Frantically, I just wanted to get to the store so I could be with Joe and other people I cared about.

That day was a haze of horror. Our good friend and delivery driver, Paul Carpenter, was still alive and I remember how upset he was watching the events unfold. Joe had me bring a small television up to the pharmacy so the staff could keep track of what was happening.

One of the things that I remember that makes me proud is how the whole country rallied together and suddenly patriotism was cool. Joe has always been big on flying the flag and paying homage to our country. It was nice to see others doing the same. I remember there was a frantic rush to find flag lapel pins and the few that we carried, and had never sold by the cash register, suddenly disappeared overnight. People began wearing red, white, and blue to honor those who were no longer with us.

That patriotism has faded over the years. I no longer see people with flag pins on their shirts and jackets.

But there are other ways to honor those who died and shine light into the depths of a very dark day.

I recently learned about a web site called “I Will” that asks people to do good deeds in order to remember those who perished ten years ago during this horrible act of hostility and hatred. The web site is set up to make something positive come from something grotesquely negative. You can post a tribute, volunteer, and support a cause to bring about acts of love and kindness from the ashes of 9/11. The site asks you to pledge to “perform simple acts of compassion, such as performing good deeds, helping someone in need, volunteering, or supporting a charity of personal choice.” Then you sign up and tell what you plan to do.

I can think of no better way to honor those who died than to do something good in their memory.

To read more about this and post your own tribute, visit, 911day.org

Visit the 911day Facebook page HERE.

In addition to the country’s simple acts of kindness, a much grander tribute is being planned on the site where the Towers stood. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum will be dedicated on 9/11/11 and will open to the public the following day on 9/12. To see photos of what the Memorial will look like, visit the 9/11 Memorial web site HERE. ┬áThe Memorial is going to have two square reflecting pools built in the footprints of The Twin Towers. Around the base of the pools will be carved the names of the nearly 3,000 people who died that day.

Additionally, visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum Facebook page.

As with so many tragedies, the way to honor those who died is to find ways to never forget and to make the world a better place in their memory.

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