Sunday, September 10, 2006

A Connecting Place

In the town where I grew up, there is a memorial at the corner of Hancock and Pikes Peak Avenues for Fallen Fire Fighters. I remember visiting when it was first unveiled in the late 80's. A family member took me along and we stood among other families, mostly made up of fire fighters. I remember feeling both lucky and afraid that I was connected to this. This memorial always seemed to remain the same: something for all the city and it's visitors to see, but seeing very few that would ever have a direct connection.

I remember our soccer team would practice in the fields around the memorial. I remember sometimes, you'd see a visitor or two, sitting on a bench or tracing the letters in a name on the wall. And the memorial just stood there, on it's own, always available to that occasional visitor.

A memorial, in and of itself, is strong. It's constant, it doesn't ask for anything and it's dependable. This one is no different. And over several weeks in the Autumn of 2001, I was reminded how very much this memorial is like those it honors. Strong, constant, unassuming and dependable.

The purpose of this memorial didn't change five years ago. But I think, in some obscure way that no one could have ever imagined, it's place has. It will always be on a small corner in a relatively small city, but to some now, it seems more like a place for a connection to those we may have never known but also, will never forget.

IAFF: Fallen Fire Fighter Memorial


GirlGoyle said...

Well it's a memorial appropriate for today's date for sure. Seems like you got your camera back from Mohammed??

justrun said...

Yes, though most of me struggles with what, if anything, could be appropriate.
No camera yet, the photo is older.

Bre said...

It looks like a beautiful memorial! Thank you for posting something so lovely. Today is hard. Today is really really hard.

justrun said...

It is, Bre. And I know it is for you, too. I wonder about the year it won't be, but I can't seem to imagine that.

justacoolcat said...

Powerful stuff.

bre said...

A rather selfish part of me hopes that it will never be easy. Because when it becomes easy it means that we are forgetting. But I'm sure that goes against all of those "steps to dealing with grief," but it's a bit scary that in 100 year no one will be alive who remembers the terror of that morning.

justrun said...

JACC- Yep, and probably more so than I'd like to admit.

Bre- I understand. I feel like I'm one of very few people in my office actually affected today. It's strange to me, though today isn't the only day I get sad about it either, so I guess I can't expect everyone to understand.

Josh said...

Living my day to day life in New York City I am often reminded of 9/11. An airplane over head, flying just a little too low or in an odd flight pattern. A loud noise from around the corner or the next block or even an unexpected stop on the subway. At times it's rather unsettling.

Thanks for focusing on the hero's and not the tragedy of that day.