I first noticed it yesterday, when I was driving to work. Some of the construction was down from in front of the Pentagon. Once again, you can clearly see the reconstructed side of the building that was struck on September 11.
The building is lit from below, bathed in blue light. Hanging off the top of the building and down the side is a giant American flag. Just like it was for months after the attacks (for all I know it may have stayed there all along, but I could not see it). A simple, but incredibly powerful memorial. I remember driving by it day after day shortly after September 11. Each time I would slow down a little bit and pause for just a second. When I first saw it again yesterday, I felt the familiar pause and slight catch in my throat. I don't know anyone personally that was killed in the attacks, but sometimes I feel like I did.
Like I said, the flag hanging off of that building is a simple, powerful memorial. Although I see no words and hear no sounds when I drive by and see it, I fill all of that in on my own - sacrifice, hard work, patriotism, remembrance, strength, unity, loss, conflict, terror, family, freedom, love, service. The photos that I have seen of the Towers of Light at the World Trade Center site have made me feel the same way. In some ways these memorials are like the empty cross - a symbol that says more by not "saying" anything.
I recognize that it is a few days early, but I will be traveling on September 11 this year and likely will not be able to post that day. I hope everyone takes time to pause and remember.
It is important to me that I comment, though, that I am not encouraging hatred for the attackers, their countries, their religion, or anything else. I believe strongly that, instead, we must attempt to understand what happened, why it happened and the beliefs of others. Action or beliefs formed from ignorance or fear are irresponsible and very dangerous.
But that is for another day.
For today my wish is simply that people take a few seconds or minutes to remember and say a prayer for the friends and families of those who were lost or injured. God Bless.