Monday, September 08, 2008

We Can't Forget

The following telephone conversation took place last week.

Caller: Well Ralph, I could meet next Thursday if that would work for you.
Ralph (after glancing at calendar): It won’t. I don’t do routine meetings on that day.
Caller (after a long pause): You don’t work on Thursday?
Ralph: I work Thursdays. But, I don’t do routine meetings on September 11th.
Caller (after another long pause): I forgot.

That last sentence scared me. We cannot afford to forget.

Fly a flag on September 11th and hopefully more flags like the one below will never have to fly again.

Flag 2172
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 Peruby said...

Thank-you for reminding me. You are right. We must never forget. Such a sad, touching story.

4:41 AM  
Blogger bobbie said...

A very moving post, Ralph. I don't see how anyone can ever forget.

7:07 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I don't know how we could forget it either Ralph. It remains forever in my memory. No one knows what horrors they went through on those flights, and then to die.

As in these lines from Darryl Worley's song, "Have you Forgotten."

Have you forgotten how it felt that day?
To see your homeland under fire
And her people blown away
Have you forgotten when those towers fell?
We had neighbors still inside going thru a living hell
And you say we shouldn't worry 'bout bin Laden
Have you forgotten?

Sad to say, but some seem to have forgotten.

Good post Ralph.

7:36 AM  
Blogger Lanny said...

Thank you Ralph.

10:00 AM  
Blogger Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

I love you and this post !

10:50 AM  
Blogger Janell said...

God bless you, Ralph. Christine is one of the heroes of that awful day. My prayers go up for her family and friends.

12:05 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

I've read this post probably 20 times. It truly is riveting Ralph. I find myself holding my breath toward the end and hoping it turns our differently this time.
It bothers me immensely that about half of our country doesn't take this seriously. You are the best my friend.
Now that I've read it I'm thinking of going outside and stomping the cd rom you sent me into little tiny pieces.

5:33 PM  
Blogger Granny Annie said...

Such emotion...sigh........

6:11 PM  
Blogger Ramblings of a Villas Girl said...

We must not never forget September 11, 2001.

I am sorry about Christine. She and everyone on Flight 93 are heroes.

Very nice post and tribute to Christine. Lisa

8:32 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

Great post Ralph. You are so right. If we forget we become vulnerable.
I have a brand new flag on the front of my house. It is HUGE so no one can miss it. I fly it all the time and I love how it waves in the wind. Makes me want to stand on the front deck and pledge allegiance a couple times a day.

10:08 PM  
Blogger Miki said...

Ralph, as usual, a great post. You are right, we shouldn't forget that September 11th touched us all in personal ways. Such a touching story, one that won't be forgotten by me for a long time. I will quietly observe the day. I hope others will so the same.

4:38 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Ralph, I could never forget....A friend of my daughters was in one of the towers when the plane hit. She was lucky being on the second floor and able to get out, but her life will never be the same. She saw people jumping to their death and is scarred from the inside out. I know that she still has nightmares from it, what a trama to go thru.

Hopefully people will remember this before voting in the presidental election.....We need a president that makes sure our country comes first......Sorry, I didn't mean to get political, but it is near and dear to my heart.

Thanks for the reminder Ralph....

8:50 AM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Ralph ~ Mrs. LZ and I just watched "Flight 93" on TV last weekend. The people on that fight we ABSOLUTE HEROES! They more than liked saved either the White House or the Senate from the kind of destruction that befell the Twin Towers! I liked your idea of displaying the U.S. Flag proudly on 9/11/08. ~ jb///

3:28 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

How terribly sad.

I'll never forget, either.

7:21 PM  

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