Originally published 9/11/14
For Americans, September 11th has become a day of reflection. On this day we remember the fallen, the injured, the loss, the lessons, the heartbreak, the world…
On that pristine cloudless day in 2001, the New York skyline was blackened. Americans were shocked by tragedy. What happened afterward was nothing short of spectacular. A collective spirit rose up like a phoenix. We grieved a long while then began rebuilding the fallen stone.
After 9/11 many of us looked for ways to help out. I painted hundreds of beach pebbles then planted myself in front of the local grocery store. I sold these rocks for $1 but many teary eyed people donated so much more.
Through the generosity of many, I was able to donate over $1,200 to FDNY Rescue 1. They lost eleven men, half their company. The portrait below is of FDNY Rescue 1, Firefighter Gary Geidel (44 years of age), lost 9/11/2001. This portrait went to his mother.
There are many parts of the world that can’t look back–their lands are still war zones. I pray for worldwide peace. It is very, very difficult…but not impossible.
For those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001, my thoughts are with you on this sad day.
Ah, I remember this tender and reflective post well, my friend. Glad to see it back to honor the fallen. What a wonderful thing you did selling those painted patriotic stones, and raising so much money for FDNY Rescue 1. I’m not at all surprised by your kindness. You know, I’m ashamed to admit this, but I’d all but forgotten today is 9-11 … which is remarkable, actually, since immediately after 9-11 I’d become a “news junkie” obsessively following trending events, afraid they’d portend another disaster. What a way to live. Well, let’s just hope and pray that we continue to “look back” on this terrible day — and not have another to replace it. Thank you for sharing this tribute on this day.
Many history lessons are wrought bloodshed. These lessons become excruciatingly painful when we don’t learn from them – whatever it is they are trying to teach.
Thank you for your kind words here.
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Walking in Boston’s Public Garden today, we stopped by the 9/11 memorial — already a wreath, some individual flowers, a framed picture…..and then, on my return walk home…..drawn to tears as a bagpipe brigade made their way to the memorial, now filled with relatives and friends, and surrounded by somber police with guard dogs…..Like the JFK assassination, our generation remembers exactly where we were when the dawn of what 9/11 was. So many lost, so many affected. A day we will never forget. Thank you for posting this Ann Marie.
I was holding my daughter and singing to her when my husband called-then I turned on the television…
Somber always this day will be.
What a wonderful thing to do AnnMarie, the stones and the painting. Truly wonderful.
My father’s cousin was in the North Tower for an interview that day – he didn’t make it out.
The wife of the Bergen Record photographer who took 9/11 photo – “firefighters raising the flag,” was in my art department. One of the four responders – an EMT – who carried out the fallen priest – is my neighbor.
Many of us have so many connections to this day.