I just read the story of a guy who survived, who tried to help and did help in a tangible way, taking an Orthodox Jewish woman home to Brooklyn. And it brought back some of the feelings I had even from the West Coast.
I was home with my 5-week old son and his 2 year old sister, my husband had been listening on the radio to Howard Stern and came out to tell me that the first Tower had collapsed. My first thought was that there was some sort of terrible structural problem. Then we turned on the TV. And didn't turn it off for days. We were watching when the second Tower came down. We were watching it over and over and over. What I remembered so vividly tonight is all the people who had lost someone wandering around downtown with pictures of their loved ones, "Have you seen this woman?" "Have you seen my son?"
We all waited breathlessly, stunned, for someone, anyone, to come out, to be rescued, to be found alive under all that rubble. For someone to show up at a hospital hurt but alive. For one of those lost to be found. But we were disappointed.
That Friday we had a special church service where I sing and I stood and sang "America, the Beautiful." To this day, when I get to that last verse I cannot help but tear up, no matter where, no matter when.
It is hard to let our dream of America be "undimmed by human tears" when we think of this terrible tragedy that happened to all of us, some more than others. But we must. We must continue to be a country of laws, a country of tolerance and acceptance, a country of love and diversity. A country of true freedom and liberty based on our Constitution.
Oh, beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years.Thine alabaster cities' gleam undimmed by human tears.America, America, God mend thine every flaw.Confirm thy soul in self control, thy liberty in law.