Thursday, September 11, 2014
Dark Clouds of 9/11
It's been thirteen years. I remember that day like it was yesterday. Morning commuters were clueless about the dark clouds spawned from overseas. World-wide panic struck. Loved ones inside burning buildings left good-bye messages. The stock market shut down four days. A country seeking refuge from the storm found it the following Monday when Major League Baseball resumed. The Padres and the Dodgers joined police officers and firefighters to pay tribute to the fallen. Yes, our flag was still there – an oversized banner blanketing nearly the entire field. James Bond would describe us like his famous martinis – we were shaken, not stirred. We responded by unfurling our flags in stadiums all across America. It was a resounding "in your face" message to the evil-doers trying to destroy our way of life. We survived the storm.
The dark clouds are back today on 9/11. They remind me of all the storms from past years, like the man-made event from 2001. Or the Winter day last year when outside temperatures in the Midwest plummeted to -48º with the windchill factor. Some predict this year may be even worse. I only know one way to face the dark clouds: head-on. My hope is knowing what comes after every storm. Francis Scott Key described it best 200 years ago...
Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars thru the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?