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The blue of the sky that day

The blue of the sky that day published on 11 Comments on The blue of the sky that day

There is a now famous art piece at the the 9/11 Memorial titled “Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning” by Spencer Finch. I have seen it in person and it is moving beyond words. It has 2,983 separate pieces to honor victims. Each is a different color of blue and it represents the idea that each of us has a different memory of that day. And in truth, each of us has a different perception of the color blue.

I have written about 9/11 in varying ways over the years. Each year I think that I have said all I can. But I also don’t feel I can let the day pass without acknowledging it in some way. I have shared stories over the years if you are interested: 9th Anniversary, 10th Anniversary, 11th Anniversary, 12th Anniversary, 13th Anniversary, 14th Anniversary, 15th Anniversary, 18th Anniversary and 19th Anniversary. But this year…this year is bigger. As I look through my previous posts, I find optimism, reflection and last year some sadness over the division that has swept over us. The last year has been one of ups and downs in my United Airlines life (if you will pardon the pun). This time last year, I was heading off to school in a downward movement back to the right seat of the Airbus from a wide body fleet. But in January, I started the process of moving to the Captain seat on the same plane and have been flying as a Captain on the Airbus 319/320 since April. Flying is coming back. There is a long way to go.

This card is very much like the one I shared on Instagram yesterday. But the blue on this is not unlike the art piece. Shades of blue. Different depending on where you look. I used the Wildflowers Stamp Set from Honey Bee Stamps and the new Thinking of You Big Time sentiment set. I added some silver splatters with Hero Arts Glimmer Metallic Ink in Pewter. It is simple but I love that the blue just washes across the panel.

I think maybe we need to consider more the idea of everyone remembering differently. Because then maybe we can give each other the grace to actually process things differently too. We are too quick to judge, too quick to dismiss and, sadly, too quick to assume the worst. I have no idea how to fix it but I do know that it starts with each one of us. Instead of looking at each blue like someone else remembers incorrectly, we look at each blue as a piece of a beautiful larger picture. Each of us brings nuance and something unique to the overall composition. At least for today, join me in enjoying all the colors of blue. We owe it to those lost to remember, each in our own way, but also together so that we have a chance of healing.

In memory of:

United 93:  Jason Dahl, LeRoy Homer Jr., 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, Marianne McFarlane, Jesus Sanchez

American 11:  John Ogonowski, Thomas McGuinness, Barbara Arestegui, Jeffrey Collman, Sara Low, Karen Martin, Kathleen Nicosia, Betty Ong, Jean D. Roger, Dianne Snyder, Madeline Sweeney

American 77:  Charles Burlingame III, David Charlebois, Michele Heidenberger, Jennifer Lewis, Kenneth Lewis, Renee May


Jen, You have written such beautiful words about remembering 9/11 and the victims. I will say that I cannot write as well as you, since I am ready to cry.
I looked at the link to the art piece you wrote about. It’s hard to believe there are so many different colors of blue. As I am watching stories of 9/11, and first person accounts of the morning, almost everyone has spoken about how blue the sky was, that the weather was a perfect autumn day. I had forgotten about this.

Thank you for what you wrote – and for the job that you do.


I had no idea you were a commercial pilot when I started following you. You surely look at 9/11 from a very different perspective. Thank you for sharing your story and your feelings. I feel so discouraged by what is happening in our country at this time. I’m hoping and praying things are better by this time next year.

Jen, thank you for giving your thoughts on today’s 20 anniversary. I was hopeful that you would share your thoughts on this 20th anniversary. Historically I have found comfort in your words every year. At the time of 9/11 I lived in Northern NJ with the towers as part of my view. Funny, I do remember the blue of that day; I am happy to be reminded. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Peace.

Jen, I’ve enjoyed your words…AND your cards…over the years…….especially your thoughts and words on these anniversaries….I remember when you were here (Denver) for your training…….Today is so meaningful as it is the 20th anniversary, and that fateful day is brought home every time I pass the memorial to Jason Dahl, who lived in the same community my husband and I live in. Thank you for your lovely words, and i look forward to your future postings!

I always tell my children that I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more beautiful blue sky than the one on September 11, 2001. Thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts each year and for the reminder that we will always see things differently but that can also help bring us closer too.

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