This day has come again. For those of you who have been with me for awhile, you probably know that I write a little every year and tend to create something to commemorate this date. (You can read my previous posts here: 9th Anniversary, 10th Anniversary, 11th Anniversary , 12th Anniversary, 13th Anniversary and 14th Anniversary). Each one of those posts is special to me. I looked back on them to reflect before sitting down to write this year. In many ways, I suppose, after reading those you know a lot about me. The stuff I mostly don’t write about here. I usually keep my life as a United pilot and my life as a stamper separate….at least here. But on this anniversary, I find it easier to show how I feel than explain it sometimes.
For the first time this year, I have actually had a long conversation with my oldest son about my memories of September 11, 2001. Much of it I have already told you in my posts above. But he had not heard my story. It wasn’t as personal to him. I didn’t want to scare him. I didn’t want him to worry when I left to fly. But this year seemed like the time. Because he has started to learn about it in school. He has seen the pictures of those planes, my company’s plane, flying into buildings. He has heard the stories of the heroes of Flight 93. But he needed to hear my part of the story too. I also talked with him about my visit to the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York. I went when I was on a layover and chose to go by myself. I wanted to take it all in alone before I ever went with others, especially my boys. The Museum is emotional and heart-breaking and a beautiful tribute. One of the most moving pieces there is called “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning” by Spencer Finch.
This wall is filled with individual panels all in shades of blue. Each panel commemorates a person. Each panel is a memory of a shade of blue since we all remember color differently.So, as usual, my inspiration is clear. My pictures of this art pale in comparison to the real piece. And the theme spoke to me in a way that I cannot explain. Because I remember the sky when I was flying that day. It was glorious. A perfect fall blue. The perfect day to fly. And in all that beauty, pure evil went to work. But evil cannot win. We must not let it. Because there is too much beauty. And even in our sadness, beauty helps us heal. It helps up move forward. It helps us find our things in common.
I created my card as a tribute to those things. The things we, as humans, share. The appreciation of God’s handiwork, the strength to move forward even after great tragedy, the expression of our feelings in art and music and mostly…and most importantly….love. I used two sets from Concord and 9th. The flower seemed perfect and the sentiment was what was in my heart. I colored using a few shades of blue from Tim Holtz Distress Ink and my Zig Light Gray Pen. Both seemed right for today. The blues for the sky. The gray for the sadness. Three sequins for the planes that found their mark and one missing for the one that missed because of the heroes aboard.
Thank you for letting me share with you. Thank you for the support you have always given me when I do. I’m grateful for the stamping community who seems to understand why it is important for me to create and remember. I wish you a day filled with love.
In memory of:
United 93: Jason Dahl, LeRoy Homer, Lorraine Bay, Sandra Bradshaw, Wanda Green, CeeCee Lyles, Deborah Welsh
United 175: Victor Saracini, Michael Horrocks, Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Kathryn Laborie, Alfred Marchand, Michael Tarrou, Alicia Titus
American 11: John Ogonowski, Thomas McGuinness, Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean D. Roger, Dianne Snyder, Amy Sweeney
American 77: Charles Burlingame III, David Charlebois, Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May