Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11 - We Remember

It's been ten years since the attacks on our nation, and as I watch the minute by minute reports from 2001, I'm struck again by the unbelievable enormity and gravity, and the bottomless depths of emotions that I felt back then.
Then, as now, I'm in awe of the heroic efforts of our firefighters, our policemen, our paramedics, our ordinary citizens, who performed extraordinary deeds of selflessness and courage.

NYFD Deputy Chief Joseph Curry

Father Mychal Judge

The 33 passengers and 7 crew members of Flight 93
President Bush spoke about these brave men and women: “Let us also remember that the first victory in this war came on a hijacked plane bound for the nation’s capital. Somehow the brave men and women on Flight 93, knowing they would die, found the courage to use their final moments to save the lives of others . . . Few are called to show the kind of valor seen on Flight 93, or on the field of battle. Yet all of us do share a calling: Be strong in adversity and unafraid in danger.” The actions of these brave men and women serve as a reminder of both the responsibility and privilege of citizenship of this great country - our America.

And don't ever forget the thousands of dead and missing, and the countless thousands of loved ones left behind.

I was asked to make a quilt by the family of one of the victims, 39 year old Sean Canavan. He went to work on September 11, 2001 and never came home. His brother Cieran's wife Jean asked that his quilt represent elements of his life - he was Irish, and loved carpentry, music, and skiing. The photo of his quilt isn't very good, but here it is anyway.

In addition, I participated in making blocks for the gigantic, 16,000 sq ft "United in Memory" quilt which had one block for every person killed in the attacks that day. This quilt toured the country in the years following and today is being exhibited at St. John's University, Staten Island, NY. All the blocks are in the Gallery, listed by name. These are the four blocks I made for the quilt - the first two are indicative of the little bit of detail I could find out about them, but details about the second two eluded me. As an aside, Mr. Spencer and Mr. Spataro's blocks were sewn on my Jones Queen Alexandra treadle during a power outage...I was on a deadline.

The attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001 are this generation's Pearl Harbor. Teach it, with historical accuracy and without political correctness, to your children and grandchildren. Our nation can survive anything because we, as a people, at our very core, are dedicated to freedom and justice. As Ronald Reagan said, "No arsenal is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women."

Remember the innocent victims lost and the heroic sacrifices made on September 11, 2001, and in the days, months and years following.


Charmaine said...

Exceptionally well worded and quite moving!

Carla said...

What an honor! To make the quilt and blocks that will be cherrished by family and friends forever.