Seven years. Clouds giving way to blue skies here in New York today, September 11th, 2008. Many of us who were living in New York back on September 11th, 2001 recall that day was much the same. By the afternoon of “9/11,” the glorious sunshine seemed so absolutely out of place with the destruction around us.
Families from the New York area who lost loved ones have made new lives for themselves. Some spouses have remarried, some children have new step-parents. But certainly, we haven’t forgotten. For while much has changed, much remains the same.
The New York City Medical Examiners Office continues to reach out to families of victims killed during 9/11, as new DNA testing technology has reopened a series of cases. Our own family received just such a call last week.
Very soon, a long black car will make its way from New York City to Maplewood, New Jersey, to the United Methodist Church, just as it did in September 2001.
I largely ignored Bruce Springsteen’s album, “The Rising,” these past years – as I’ve managed to avoid most 9/11 themed material, from music, to movies, to novels.
Last month though, which actually marked my first chance to see Bruce live in concert (Giants Stadium) I decided it was past time, and I downloaded the album. It’s become a curious comfort - aside from featuring great music - as the seventh anniversary arrived.
A haunting and beautiful refrain from the song, “The Fuse,” reads:
Trees on fire with first fall’s frost/
Long black line in front of Holy Cross.
Seems like yesterday.
But the sun is shining here in New York, there’s work to be done and my family will be waiting at home, so onward it is. We’ll laugh tonight, play some games I hope. And raise a toast to Doug, who loved fall days like this one.