Monday, September 10, 2007

Lest We Forget

I wrote this post a few years back. It’s still pertinent today – lest we forget.

Flag 2,172
September 12, 2005. Today I walked amongst 5,000 American flags. Each flag measured three feet by five feet and stood eight feet tall. They will be up for a week. It's called the 2005 Healing Field and was constructed on ten acres near my home. Each flag is labeled with a number and a name of someone who has died in the war against terrorism since September 11, 2001. This includes the victims of September 11th, the first responders, and military people who have died in the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq. There is also a place where people from other countries have flags placed in their honor.

September 8, 2001. I had been there for a week and stood many times on my hotel balcony overlooking the city. Far off in the distance I could see the pentagon.Tonight I was invited to join a group of foresters from Hawaii many from an organization called the Outdoor Circle. They were a fun group to be with. Our experiences in the tree world were different but also remarkably similar. As the evening wore on the group thinned out until it was just Christine Snyder and I. The place we met closed and we moved to the lobby of the hotel talking about families, programs, projects, but mainly about trees.

Early the morning of September 9th before heading back to my room, I asked if she had any information on the Outdoor Circle. She assured me she did and she would get it to me before we left the following day.

That morning walking towards the shower I noticed a packet had been slipped under my hotel door. I opened it to discover all kinds of information about the Outdoor Circle and a note from Christine telling me she enjoyed our conversation the night before and was looking forward to staying in touch about tree programs and projects. I showered and headed to the airport. After a week in DC, I was finally heading home.

The flag above is flag 2,172. It has Christine Snyder's name on it. She was aboard flight 93 on September 11, 2001.


Blogger nora said...

I am so glad you reposted this.
It was one of the stories that really stuck in my head when I read your first book.
Thanks for making Christine real to us.

6:58 PM  
Anonymous Sorso said...

A story that will live forever.
Thank you Christine Thank you !

7:44 PM  
Blogger OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a poingnant and poserfyl rememerance...Nora sent me your way, and I am so very glad she did.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Thanks for doing that again Ralph. We must not forget what we're up against.

12:37 AM  
Blogger Cathy said...

For me, this is a first posting. But, a VERY good one. Thank you for sharing.

8:56 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Very nice post! LET US NEVER FORGET! ~ jb///

11:14 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

This post is worthy of being re-posted now and in the future.
I vow to not forget how I felt on that horrible day.
I pray we never feel that immense loss again. I pray we elect leaders who will make wise decisions and keep us safe.
Christine is one of so many we lost. Each person a valuable life that was taken from us at the hands of haters.
Thank you for remembering her and bringing the overall loss down to a personal level.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

How sad, not only for her but all the others. I won't forget that day! I hope we never have another horror like this but we must never let our guard down.

Good post Ralph and well worth repeating.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Tee said...

Thank you for sharing your personal story.

10:28 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

It's funny how they're only names until someone you know knew or two or five, and then it becomes real.

Fantastic Post.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

The world is a speck and we are specks on the speck yet we touch without even realizing the potential magnitude. Thanks for the reminder.

11:12 AM  

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