Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Today, and Every Day... We Remember

In 2009, I signed up for a cooperative blogging project called Project 2,996.

The idea was to ask bloggers across the country to each choose a name from the list of 2,996 lives, tragically lost on September 11, 2001, and write a tribute to that person's life.

That year, I asked to be assigned a name at random.

I didn't anticipate the magnitude of the feelings that would consume me as I researched the life of the person belonging to that single name.

That particular name was inextricably linked to another name on the list -- a spouse -- who was also lost, that day.

Such is the case with tragedy, and especially one of the caliber of devastation that occurred on 9/11/01.

Some families lost several loved ones, that day.

In some cases, folks who had been best friends since childhood perished together on their way to a vacation.

Even those who did not pass with a loved one by their side are still linked, through tragedy. All those names... all those names... all those names weave a tapestry of grief and loss.

However, that tapestry is created of individual threads: each unique, each relevant, and each vibrant.

It is those individual threads which Project 2,996 seeks to recognize and pay tribute to.

Who were they, before they were a name on a list? What did they do, and who did they love, and how is the world changed by their existence -- rather than changed by their death?

And so... we remember.

We remember each soul, each life as it was lived, rather than how it was taken.

Over the years, I've learned about more lives, and added more tributes. When I visited the memorial at Ground Zero in NYC a few years ago, I sought out the memorial plaques for those whose tributes had appeared on this blog.

It was lightly raining, and the gray afternoon sky folded over me like a blanket as I touched each plate, my fingers tracing the etched names.

"I know this person," I whispered.

I'd never met any of those people, of course.

But I knew them.

I spent time learning about their lives, re-reading their tributes each year, committing to memory the details their friends and families shared.

I may never have met them, but I know them.

I hope you'll take the time to know them, too.

Here's a list of tributes which have appeared on my blog, as part of Project 2,996:

 Please take the time to read and share their stories.
And, above all, please... never forget.

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