Sept. 11 resolve: to see the "majesty’ of the human spirit
I would like to take this means to express my appreciation to the Red, White and Blue Fire Department (so appropriately named), the Breckenridge Police Department, the Summit County Sheriff’s Office and the town of Breckenridge for planning and implementing the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony my husband and I attended.
Like most Americans, I struggled to find some meaningful way to remember the victims of Sept. 11; to find comfort for my deeply wounded heart and spirit; and to feel hope for the future.
I have always loved my native land, and most of my adult life have bought the stars and stripes in all forms, reverently flown the flag and enthusiastically observed national holidays. Some of my family members have even suggested I might at times go “over the edge,” but they always lovingly indulge me that privilege.
For years, I have sung about the “purple mountain majesties,” the “shining sea” and “spacious skies” of our native land.
For years as we vacationed in Colorado, and now as part-time residents of Breckenridge, the vision of the mountains and sky has never ever failed to speak to my soul of the grandeur of God’s creation.
And surely, as we gathered in the early morning to remember Sept. 11, the mountains and sky again spoke to my soul of peace and majesty and the providence of God’s creation.
However, as I stood in silence, remembering the victims and their loved ones, my eyes drifted from the mountains to the faces of the men and women in the uniforms of the departments who serve us each day in this community.
The people who face each day are willing to put their lives in harm’s way in order to protect us and guarantee our rights as Americans. I thought of the heroes who truly were born that fateful day -ordinary people like myself, who in the face of devastation and disaster willing took on the mantle of heroism often at the loss of their own lives.
I realized that I do not have to be in the vicinity of the majesty of the mountains, the shining seas or the spacious skies to see grandeur and evidence of God’s creation.
I merely need to look at the faces of His greatest creation, mankind. In the faces of the men and women of the fire department, the police department and the sheriff’s department, I saw the majesty of commitment and resolve, the spacious and expansive willingness to serve and the shining examples of heroism.
I saw the best of America in the people assembled that morning to pay tribute. I found comfort in our commonality as Americans though we appear in all colors, ethnic backgrounds and religious convictions. And, most assuredly, I found hope – hope in our future that we will draw strength from our diversity and will find resolve to deal with the issues diversity often brings. I was deeply moved by the presence of a father with his young son.
I wanted to tell the young boy how fortunate he was to have a father who was wise to see the value of providing for his son the experience of this remembrance ceremony.
I could see the seed being planted for love of country, respect for those who serve us and reverence for heroes. This father and son gave me hope for the future.
I did leave the Sept. 11 remembrance ceremony feeling comfort and hope. I felt that I had found the proper venue for remembrance. We often feel we as individuals can do so little to affect change, but I left the ceremony with a sense of resolve to honor the victims of Sept. 11 by recognizing the hero that abides in us all.
I will seek to see the “majesty” of the human spirit, the “shining” examples of the human ability to reach beyond ourselves to serve others and the “spacious” capacity we have to connect with one another.
Surely, I can do my small part to see that the Sept. 11 victims shall not have died in vain. God bless America.
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