Wednesday, September 11, 2013

12 years

It is a solemn day as we once again remember such a brutal attack on our nation.

But it also does us good to remember. 

And I feel I have a special connection with New York & DC on this day, so I wanted to share about it. No pictures of those horrific attacks, no heart-wrenching stories... Just a small connection I share to this day & our shining cities on the East Coast. 

I should begin by saying that growing up in Seattle, it's hard to completely connect to the East Coast. It's not a different country, but it might as well be. Different cultures, different accents, different weather. The times I've been there have seemed nearly as foreign as being in the UK. (Preparing for my recent trip to Boston, I had to remind myself I'd have cell coverage.)  All that to say... It's easy to feel disconnected & disjointed with the East Coast.

But, as they say, on that day, we all became New Yorkers.  This became more real to me when my family road-tripped across the country the summer after.  It had been 9 months, but as we walked toward Ground Zero, the hums and honks of the city stilled.  Complete silence in the middle of Manhattan.  And the wall was still up.  Ribbons, cards, flowers, teddy-bears, have-you-seen-them signs.  The makeshift memorial had survived the winter.  I stared at sun-bleached paper no one had the heart to take down.  And in that moment, I touched their pain.  As distant as Seattle might be from New York, I felt the pain as if someone had struck "my city."  It became personal.  And it became beautiful.  I am so grateful for that moment.

Fast-forward nearly 12 years.  This year on tax day, April 15th, 2 bombs went off at the finish line of the Boston bombing.  I can't tell you how or why, but I identified so quickly with the Bostoners left hurt and frustrated by the blasts.  Little did I know then that I'd be visiting Boston in just a few months.

And this is what greeted me:

A wall.  A wall of remembrance.  A wall of mourning.  And another connection.  Another reminder that though spread across "amber waves of grain" and inhabiting from "sea to shining sea" - we are, indeed, United.

Above is a map of the Boston Marathon route.  Below is the restaurant the bomb wiped out.  It re-opened the week before I visited.

On this day, we are all New Yorkers.  We are Boston Strong.  And our resilience makes us all Americans.


  1. Beautiful! Very well said, my dear.

  2. I second Beks, well and beautifully said! Love it!