The end should be sad, I think, but it's the beginning that is truly so.
The end is often expected, sometimes welcomed, while the middle is lost in survival, but the beginning is a constant, recurring reminder that more is on the way, and everything is replaceable.
In spring, the trees are all covered with blossoms and bright-green leaves; the cycle renews itself no matter the length or severity of the winter and without regard for those who didn't survive. Everything that will survive moves forward by successfully repeating the process of existence until it no longer can, at which time it will simply be replaced by something that can.
The best parts of life are the individual interpretations of events and emotions and the memories of those times, created of their own volition. No two recollections of a given moment are identical, and the way the past survives in someones mind is a collection of significant moments that define them as an individual.
The loss of the twin towers as buildings doesn't mean much to me, but the loss of what lived in so many minds, which simply disappeared that day, is heart-breaking, and the idea of simply starting the cycle over and losing forever what went before is a profoundly sad concept.
I suppose the massive beams of light penetrating the New York skyline, in tribute to the absent twin towers, are helpful to some on the tenth anniversary of 9/11, but there is a gimmicky feel to it that bothers me. I can't watch many of the tribute shows that relive the agony of the family members left behind, because it feels wrong to "peek" into the windows of their suffering. There are so many horrible and tragic stories of loss, in New York, Afghanistan and Iraq, and it's time to stop adding to them.
I was working on my deck, listening to my favorite music on a sunny morning in Washington state when the planes flew into the towers, and I fully supported doing something as a nation, not just to exact revenge but to prevent future disasters of a similar nature...a giant, symbolic putting-down of our foot. But somehow, like the giant beams of light designed to unite the survivors in New York, the heroic words "lets roll," spoken by doomed passengers who refused to let terrorists define their ending, were stolen by the government to seize a partially open door and permanently tear it from its hinges, to make way for an endless flow of U.S. citizens and resources to solve unsolvable world issues. Our president used the sentiment openly in speeches, while encouraging us to "stay the course," though the course was undefined.
Ten years later, we have a 592 million dollar embassy in Iraq, the lowest congressional approval rating ever, historic unemployment and a tired, exploited patriotism.
I'm going to have some t-shirts made to help renew America's commitment to our greatness, and they will simply say:
As I look at that, I realize that the acronym isn't so clear, and I may have to spell it out.
What Would FDR Do?
The back will have the seal of the Civilian Conservation Corps.