September 11th …

September 11th …

When news begins to come into our somewhat insulated corporate digs, hundreds of employees turn their work PCs into news-streaming devices; facilities and management pull out TVs and audio equipment from closets and conference rooms into hallways, or tune into the news and open conference room doors. Everything comes to a halt, the whole of the company mobilized in minutes, huddled in groups around whatever device was broadcasting the unimaginable.  And then the second plane hits.

The woman standing next to me breaks down, her brother works in one of the towers.  I arrange for someone from my team to drive her home, another to follow them and bring the driver back to the office.  It will be days before she will learn that, for whatever reason, he was not at work that day.

Gordon M. Aamoth, Jr.
Edelmiro Abad
Marie Rose Abad
Andrew Anthony Abate
Vincent Paul Abate
Laurence Christopher Abel
Alona Abraham

Within the week, I learn that my second son, then merely 20 and already jetting around the globe doing software installations and training for  a small IT solutions company, could have been there that day doing a check-in visit with a client, but schedules were complicated and another date would have to be arranged, and so he was somewhere else. Fifteen years later, his name is not among them, those that are read aloud in remembrance, and I, who birthed him, nursed him, parented him, hoped for him the best the world could offer, am not one of those mothers pinned year after year by unbounded grief and consumed with what might have been.

Arlene T. Babakitis
Eustace R. Bacchus
John J. Badagliacca
Jane Ellen Baeszler
Robert J. Baierwalter
Andrew J. Bailey
Brett T. Bailey
Garnet Ace Bailey

News stories will emerge about miracles or happenstance, the choice of your description or mine or the next person’s for what might be considered good fortune irrelevant, really, but what do we do, each of us, when we ourselves are the miracle, but, as in one case, we lose more than 600 of our employees, our brother among them, our brother who calls our sister who thinks aloud thank God, you aren’t there, and must listen as he gives her the digitized hard truth,  I am here, and I am going to die, and I called to tell you I love you.  (Howard W. Lutnick)

Gary Frederick Lutnick
Linda Anne Luzzicone
Alexander Lygin
CeeCee Lyles
Farrell Peter Lynch
James Francis Lynch
James T. Lynch, Jr.
Louise A. Lynch
Michael Cameron Lynch
Michael Francis Lynch

Three months later to the day, December 11, 2001, my brother will take his life at the age of 43 while I am at work in that same corporate office, and I will become one of those who are left behind, plunged into a void, a darkness from which I will never return, wishing myself dead as well, consumed by it, that wish, and you never really come back, you simply learn to live with one half of your heart in the shadows, half of your soul in that all too familiar underworld.  And you find reason enough to stay, here, in this life—the kids, the grandkids, some purpose or mission, real or fabricated.  What would my brother think of what I have done, or have not done, with my life in the past 15 years?

I could easily jump to the the larger conversation of today: the thousands lost in Syria, the rising incidence of suicide in camps by the young and very young refugees who feel hopeless and a burden to their parents, who also feel hopeless.  To me, every senseless death echoes every other senseless death, and it is deafening, so much so that many cover their ears as they get on with their lives as if there is nothing terribly wrong with the world on a grand scale.  What if it were your child, your brother, your spouse, your friend, your neighbor?

For many, there is still the empathetic heart, the outraged heart, the compassionate heart that aches for the lost, each of them, all of them…

Elsy Carolina Osorio Oliva
James R. Ostrowski
Jason Douglas Oswald
Michael John Otten
Isidro D. Ottenwalder
Michael Chung Ou
Todd Joseph Ouida
Jesus Ovalles
Peter J. Owens, Jr.
Adianes Oyola

The Names

Who are you missing? Say their name aloud this minute, say it again, be grateful for the gift of memory, consider one simple act of kindness, do it today, make the world a better place.

“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love” – Washington Irving

Image: “Tree Peonies,” Wolcott, Connecticut, 2016.   © Faith Vicinanza

Lamentations of The Heart by Philip Wesley


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