The crisp clear weather, the endless blue skies, the first hints of fall. These are the signs that once heralded the changing of the seasons from summer to fall.
But now, these are also the signs of something more — a day that is indelibly etched in our minds and virtually impossible to erase from our psyche — 9/11/01. It was a day that changed everything, not only for us as Americans, but for the world as a whole. Individually, none of us was untouched by friends, family, acquaintances who lost loved ones on that day.
As the years pass, in some ways it becomes harder to put the events of that tragic day in perspective. They say that time has a way of healing all wounds, but somehow, when it comes to 9/11, that just doesn’t seem to ring entirely true. A pointless war started as the result of our grief has only spun out of control and spread the sorrow. Meanwhile, there are still those who feel we are on the right track and all is right with the world.
So once again, we watch those images of the World Trade Center being struck and tumbling to the ground. Somehow they never lose their impact, their shock value still manages to send us to that other place. But try as we might, those videos are limited in what they can offer today.
Seven years later, the details have been disected, yet still we search for answers in those clips to explain to us about the hatred that led to these acts and the resulting fear that has brought us to where we are on September 11, 2008. But in the end there is nothing there for us. Just a two dimensional replay of the defining moment of our lives — one that has become just that, yet has ceased to move us beyond that point like it once did. Like a parent rewatching a video of a lost child, the sorrow never wanes — only the ability to revisit it fully does.
Here in Sag Harbor, we lost two — Linda Gronlund, who was aboard United Flight 93 which crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and Erica Van Acker, who was working on an upper floor of the trade center that day. Today, let us not forget what clear blue skies on September 11 have come to represent — and let us rejoice in the memories of those wonderful people who we will never forget because of it.