September 11, 2014

Where were you when the world stopped turning...


on that September day?

Today is a day of "Never Forget" and patriotism.  And you know what is particularly cool about that?  I can be patriotic, and you...don't have to be. It's one of the many blessings of where I live.  It's not lost on me the fact that I have the good fortune to call America my home, and it's none of my own doing. It is the result of sheer happenstance if you only consider my OWN efforts.  I could just have easily been born in Dresden, East Germany and grown up indoctrinated under a Communist regime.  Lucky for me, my family left.  Some freely before the Iron Curtain.  Some thru escape afterwards.  I am fortunate.  I am indeed lucky. The only leaving and/or escape I've had to muster in my life is from an overly crowded department store sale.



"Heroes Amongst Us"
Ground Zero
New York, New York



"Never Forget"
Ground Zero
New York, New York


But one does not have to personally suffer, in order to personally feel the suffering of others.  And just like a family, it's okay for US to pick on our Uncle Sam...but God help the outsider who is hurtful to one of our own. We close ranks, and we protect.  We become "one". Today, September 11th, is a day to remember the pain and suffering that was inflicted on our family.  And today is a day to close ranks, set aside differences, appreciate our fortunes, and become "one".   At least, for a little while. And for so many of us, it's only because we were just damn lucky enough to be born here.




"Freedom at Dusk"
Washington, D.C.



Aside from the sheer concept that I can be grateful to be an American, and you don't HAVE to be?  I am thankful that...



"Where Democracy Lives"
The White House
Washington, D.C.


...I get a say in whom occupies this house.  Altho I do not always agree on the current residents' actions, I will always respect the office of the President.  To some that might sound like a contradiction.  But it's akin to telling my Things after they do something I do not agree with "I don't like what you did, but I'll always love ya...MWAH!".  


I am thankful that even right outside these gates...



"Behind Closed Gates"
Washington, D.C.




"Free to Be"
Washington, D.C.


...we live in a country that allows, and even encourages, open discourse without fear of retribution or physical harm.  And personally, as a woman, I can voice my opinion freely.   Some within my family might claim I embrace that concept a ittle TOO freely here inside my castle. That's okay, we can disagree upon that too my wonderful family. Utopia?  It is not.  There is plenty wrong here in America.  But I can say it without fear for myself or my family.


I am grateful for...



"They Fought Together"
World War II Memorial
Washington, D.C.




"Sacrifice"
Korean War Memorial
Washington, D.C.




"Freedom is not Free"
Korean War Memorial
Washington, D.C.


...those who give the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms. Their service, their honor, their commitment.  Our military men and women who put their lives on the line.  It's so easy for most of us who choose to only flap our gums, complain on social media, or write blog posts.  So take the time to thank a soldier, buy him/her lunch if you see a soldier at a lunch counter, or do a random act of kindness for their families.  From personal experience I can tell you that it will make YOU feel just as good as your recipient.  September 11th has proven to our generation that freedom is certainly not free. So do what you are capable of doing within your own scope and confines.


And I am thankful that...


"Pride"
Washington Monument
Washington, D .C.


...my Things were born, raised, and live in a country where they are not told how to live, behave, and dress by any ruler or dictator.  Except their mom.

These things I take for granted most days, because I was lucky enough to be born where I was.  I know no different.  But today is a day of "Never Forget".  So, let's not.







Here's where I "link up" today.


(click on image for description of Song-ography)
Next Tuesday's Song-ography title is "From a Distance" by Bette Midler.
Come back and link up!

20 comments:

  1. My sister was on a plane. I get chills when I remember hearing our Rabbi tell a bunch of middle schoolers that our country was under attack. Now I look at my 8 year old students and think of the scary world they're being raised in.

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    1. Yes it is scary. Because this is not what our generation, and younger, are use to dealing with. I'm sure our grandparents would tell a different story after living thru WWII. But honestly, i think it would be even MORE worrisome if this WASN'T scary. If thinking about attacks and war were a daily fact of life, as it is in so many parts of our world, made you immune to the fear because it is a daily occurance. I think in times like these, it is good to remember how blessed we truly are, despite the current events.

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    2. Tamar - was your sister on one of the planes involved? Oh I hope not. My husband's cousin worked on Wall Street and no one knew if he was there that morning - we couldn't find out until days later that he had been elsewhere for work. We prayed. We prayed for not only our family, but so many families and souls.

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    3. Nicki, oops, not clear! She was on a plane, but was fine, we had no idea where she was for hours (no cell phones!)

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  2. We are blessed to call this wonderful, flawed, great nation our home. In many countries terrorism is a constant - so much it doesn't leave an impression so raw you still feel the pain 13 years later.

    These are outstanding images.

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    1. Thanks Niki. Took the DC photos just a few weeks ago on one of our college visit trips.

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  3. I am not American, but I feel you, Kathy. This is a beautiful tribute to your nation and - your family ;) And apart from the seriousness and sadness and everything else your pictures are gorgeous. I cannot wait to finally make it to D.C. one day.

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  4. p.s. when it happened 9/11/11 I actually lived in Switzerland and saw it on the news when I got home from work. I was alone. And I cried (which I do not a lot).

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    1. Please correct my typo in the year, Kathy, I cannot edit - thanks.

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    2. Claudia, I can not edit comments...only delete them. But I am sure everyone understands your typo. No worries :)

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  5. Kathy, what a beautiful tribute to a country you call home. I'm very grateful to this country, too, which has been my home for half my life now. (I was from the Philippines).
    I live in NYC. I was on the subway to work when the first plane struck and just made it to work when the second one did. Tha evacuation from the 36th floor office through stariways and all the chaos and sadness and grief that followed are still so surreal up to this day. Although we move on, we will never forget.

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  6. What powerful words and sumptuous photos. I'm not American: I'm Irish, but I used to work back and forth between London and New York. On that day I was thankfully far away from all the action, but my husband was due to attend a conference with a breakfast meeting at the Windows of the World Restaurant right up at the top of one of the towers. By some total miracle he decided at the eleventh hour not to go. Had he gone he would certainly have perished. It sends shivers down my spine thinking how very personal the terrible tragedy of 9/11 could have been for me, and my heart goes out to all those folk who lost loved ones on that day. All the best, Bonny

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  7. It's not an accident that I was born in America as my parents waited until they had immigrated from the Philippines to the USA before having kids. They wanted their children to be US citizens from Day 1. I remember that I was watching Mr. Rogers Neighborhood with my then toddler when the planes hit. When we moved to Malaysia, a predominantly Muslim country, a person very close to me unthinkingly sent me an email that "all Muslims are out to kill Americans." That's so untrue. Getting to live in Malaysia for a few years and seeing how overall harmonious things are between Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists there was very educational. However, I also gained a better appreciation for what, as an American, I had considered unalienable rights. Now that I've traveled so much, I have realized that Americans are blessed to be one of the few countries with the amount of freedom that we have.

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  8. Oh, I forgot to mention that I really loved your photo essay and the words that accompanied them.

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  9. "only leaving and/or escape I've had to muster in my life is from an overly crowded department store sale." - I liked that line. A little humor to a very tragic event.
    I remember your tribute last year too. I agree with your feelings about what makes our country great. We are allowed to voice opinions, even very unpopular opinions. We are better when we respect others rights to speak out. Great pics.

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  10. I agree Kathe, let's never forget! I feel so blessed to have been born here as well. My fathers parents immigrated here from Czechoslavakia. Definitely feel blessed to have the many freedoms that we enjoy! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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  11. Wow -- what an inspirational post!

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