I have an acquaintance, halfway around the world this morning documenting amazing persons in astonishing places, who is quite probably weary of my extolling the virtues of New York City as the Capital of the World. She doesn't disagree; she might prefer I, and everyone else, just shut up about it. And I would, except it is.
From its founding as Nieuw Amsterdam by the Dutch through the unceasing and centuries-long waves of immigrants for whom it was first landfall in the A World of Unlimited Opportunities, it was and remains always the Portal to Everything Possible and Otherwise.
No more so than this morning as my brother, Adam, and clouds, masses and swarms of others along with him will prove as they run to remember so the rest of us never forget all those touched and scarred by the brutality, cowardice and catastrophe of 9/11 by taking part in the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Run/Walk.
Adam has done this before and will do it again, of that I have no doubt. Because I have both an appreciation and understanding of the mechanics of history, I can intellectually accept the notion of a day when no one on earth will have been alive when the event this race commemorates happened. It is almost, but not quite, inconceivable to me emotionally that this could ever happen but it will as softly and swiftly as the rains fell yesterday as I struggled to find the right words and placement for this sentence. That is why they run.
Adam and all who do (including Russ, husband of our sister, Kara, Adam told me before) as well as those who visit the website, make a donation, read the news accounts and follow the day's exploits via a live feed are part of a collective consciousness that, more than the opposable thumbs, more than the abominable gangnam style, truly separates us from the other kingdoms with whom we share the planet.
The Tunnel to Towers is but the removal of one teaspoon of sorrow from an ocean of misery but it is one and as such it encourages, no, it demands the removal of another, and then another by each of us able to so do until we can do no more. And if our effort accomplishes nothing more than to keep the memory alive, that is mitzvah enough to save the world.