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2002-09-11 - 2:42 p.m.

So many are remembering where they were this day a year ago. What they were doing... Even I went back and read my old entries from 9.11.2001 and the week afterwards. Enlightening.

As I was driving into work this morning, around 8:45am, I listened to NPR, doing coverage of the memorial services in NYC, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. I heard the Governer of New York read the Gettysburg Address, very poignant. I also realized that my drive into work this morning very much mirrored that of my drive home from work a year ago. There was no one blasting music out of their car windows, everyone seemed to be driving under the lovely sunny sky with their windows down listening to news on the radio, everyone observing a moment of silence in their cars on the way to work. This time it wasn't erie, it was comforting.

But I don't want to focus on what I was doing this day a year ago, or what others were doing, or the names I recognize or anything like that. Right now I want to pose a question. How are you different from the person you were a year ago? What changes, if any have you made? Are you more paranoid? Do you hold certain things more precious? Are you afraid to fly or travel in any way? Did you take life by the reigns and truly live knowing that no one knows what tomorrow may bring?

It's not so much where you were, or what you did that day, but what have you done in reaction to that... Have they been positive reactions, or manifestations of fear?

Personally, we have made a few changes in our lives. After 9-11 we started putting up a flag in front of our house each day. Really, Alan has. Each day he unfurls the flag, and hangs her out in the sun, rain, wind or ice as a show that Americans live here. Why didn't we do it before hand, who knows? But we do now, and that is a change that has stuck. I also donated a not completely insignificant sum to the American Red Cross. I could have bought fabric, or many dinners out, or a vacation, or a plane ticket, or put it in savings, but I didn't. And I didn't deduct it from my taxes in March either. I made another, much smaller donation again this morning. I donated because I know there are many who can't. I also traveled more in the past year, specifically flew more in the past year than I have any other year. I didn't shy away from the airports, or stay home out of fear. I had places to go, and the airlines needed my business, how small a contribution it is, it was still something. I flew two weeks after 9.11.01, and again for Thanksgiving, and then down to GA for Crown, to Cape Cod upon Alan's father's passing, and to New Orleans for my aunt and uncle's party. Each time I patiently waited thru the airport security lines, not thirlled, but knowing that if my wait in some way made the skies more safe, then so be it.

They aren't huge changes, I haven't started going to church each sunday, or eating right, or joined the military or anything like that. But I would like to think that I am more contemplative, more appreciative, more forgiving, pause more often to prayers to that higher being. Think of it less like being scarred and more like those who turn scars into art by getting tattoos over them.

And speaking of tattoos, this anniversary has served one more small purpose in my life. It reminded me that it has been over a year since my tattoo, so I signed up to donate blood next Thursday. Thanks for the reminder Time...

And to end I will say, to those who perished, to those who fight overseas, to those long gone and those recently shuffled off this mortal coil, to all those missing from our world be they in heaven or 300 miles away, in toast,
To Absent Friends...

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