Freedom Beat Across America: In Search of America's Heartbeat

Every generation has their version

It’s Monday morning, and the Lair belongs to the females again. It’s cool enough that I’ve left the sliding door open so Sophie Le Chat can crouch at the screen and terrorize the birds that want the seed I’ve placed in the garden.
I believe last Sunday needed to be marked, on the calendar and in our hearts. As I’ve said before, “attention must be paid”. But I was glad to shut the door on September 11, 2011, and get on with living. And I sincerely believe that most if not all of the families who lost someone that day felt the same. Memory is one thing, grief is another, and it’s time to move on.
I guess every generation has their version of the question: Where were you when the world changed with a huge lurch and went in a direction that made a lie of all our assumptions?

Courtesy LA TIMES

For my mother, it was Pearl Harbor. For me it was John Kennedy’s

June 10, 1963 Who knew?

assassination. For my grandmother, bless her, it was the death of Rudolph Valentino.

At least, that’s what she said. Hey, we all have our priorities, and anyway, the Great Depression didn’t happen at a particular moment for her. That little baby snuck up on her like a creeping poisonous fog, supposedly meant for rich people but killing the firstborn of every household. It left this farm girl a widow with two starving children before she realized that nothing would ever go back to the way it was. No, Rudy’s death was a moment Granny could pin the death of her childhood on.   But she did tell me stories about the Depression. And I listened with one ear cocked for my two-year-old sneaking out of his nap, my six-monther getting ready to shriek for a diaper change, and my husband coming home before I had a chance to clean up and not look like the slob I was. She was telling me a story when my cousin rushed into the kitchen and cried, “Kennedy’s been shot!”
My first thought was, “Where’s she been? That was six years ago.”
But it was Bobby Kennedy that time, and the slide into madness was simply continuing.
For my children, the divide was September 11, 2001. And if I could have spared them that, I would have done whatever it took. The hard part is realizing just how little it would have taken, if we’d just been paying attention.

Alan's colors

So this year my son put on his leather vest with his firefighter’s logo and his EMT badge and with his pretty wife joined the hundreds of bikers who entered New York City last weekend to pay homage to their brothers. My other son is somewhere out of country. Because of September 11, 2001. You can only shut the door so much once the winds of change have blown it open.

Firefighter Memorial NYC 9-11-2011


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One thought on “Every generation has their version

  1. Thanks for stopping by. Indie Ink is a weekly writing challenge. Just follow links on my post. Right now II is changing servers.

    MC is thrust into a portal at the beginning of the story by a Guardian. Glad you liked it.

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