This is usually a message I give when talking about Holocaust Remembrance Day, which in 2020, will be observed on April 21st.
Yesterday at work, one of the fellows I’m training with called it one of the saddest days on our calendar. I’m talking about September 11, 2001. Just like the day of John F. Kennedy’s assassination (even though I was a child back then), I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on that fateful September morning.
However, my grandson is 10 and my granddaughter is 4, and for them, this is history, something that happened before they were born.
The air was finally carrying a chill in the mornings, the first sign of Fall. Nick had always loved the Fall, even as a kid, but today possessed a bitterness along with the cold. He got up early, went through his morning routine, and then opened the hallway closet.
There, like every other morning, was the American flag. He never kept it out at night because there were too many vandals.
He gently ran his dark brown fingers along the fabric. Today, more than any other day, it meant something special. “I miss you Dad.”
Tears were running down his cheeks as he put the flag pole in its holder next to the front door on the outside of his cottage. Seventeen years ago today, his Dad, a New York City Police Officer, was among the first responders after the World Trade Center was destroyed. The 27-year-old Marine veteran saluted the flag, not just for honor of country and the Corps, but for the bravest man he’d ever known who died on this day.
I wrote this for the 182nd FFfAW Challenge hosted by Priceless Joy. The idea is to use the image above to craft a piece of flash fiction between 100 and 175 words long. My word count is 174.
Today marks the seventeenth anniversary of the heinous terrorist attacks on our country, a time when we remember those who fell, and the courage of the men and women who first responded to the attacks. I felt I should write something appropriate.
To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com.
I just read an article called Remembering 911: Five Important Lessons. It was written by Rabbi Benjamin Blech for a Jewish educational website. The first lesson is “We Are All Israelis”. Here’s the relevant quote:
Immediately after 9/11, the phrase “we are all Israelis” appeared in some reports. But it was soon forgotten or hijacked by other groups and different causes. Yet it captured a profound truth. The enemies of Israel turned out to be the same enemies intent on destroying the Western world and civilized society as we know it.
For years the United States as well as other democracies watched the terrorism and the intifada and the butchering and the sadistic slayings of innocents from afar and thought it had nothing to do with them. Suddenly came the recognition that there is no longer a concept of distance for terror. 9/11 made clear that an ocean can no longer keep Americans safe from attack and that the battle against jihad isn’t restricted to Jerusalem.
It’s not desirable or convenient to certain social and political groups in America to closely identify with Israel, especially with such a potentially inflammatory phrase as “We Are All Israelis”. But here on the commemoration of the terrorist attacks against our nation and our citizens on September 11, 2001, I have come to see that we aren’t “Israeli” enough.