There are days of the year you never lose track of-depending on you and your life they can include the birthdays of family and friends, anniversary dates and, sadly, the dates of a passing of someone/something of value and importance.
Today says my calendar hanging in the kitchen, and at which I peer every morning (it lists this coming Saturday as "Declaration of Independence (M)"), is Patriot Day. I don't know if I'm buying its very noble and ambitious goals-there's still a lot of hurt. I was raised to hate the sin and to always love the sinner but I long ago abandoned the faith of my father(s) and today is a day where I struggle with the wisdom behind knowing whom and what to hate and when.
My brother Adam has penned some wonderful profiles, reports, compilations of anecdotes and incidents in his space in the ether during the recent weeks leading up to today and I've been buoyed in reading them and realizing how remarkable we are as a species. The villainous efforts of those who hated and who still hate us, notwithstanding, there were/are a countless number of brilliant and brave people who, in death, made a positive difference everyday in the lives of the rest of us. We dare not fail one another now because they did not fail in the final moments of their lives in their belief in us.
During a trip to New York City with our son. Patrick Michael this time almost a year ago, the first time I'd been on the island of Manhattan since the original attacks (so huge a coward am I and I love New York City (and Manhattan especially) and regard it as the Capital of the World), I was in tears not merely from what had been done to Lower Manhattan but how its people had responded. And by the scale and scope of that response.
We are still here-bent and some of us badly beaten but we are NOT broken. Not now, not ever. So much triumph over so much tragedy and with that, an affirmation of a core belief that we shall never be defeated by imbeciles and idiots consumed by an ideology of hate because we can bend metal and glass to form and frame prayers in the concrete canyons of the cities in which we live and all those who would harm us in any way are powerless to stop us as we rededicate ourselves to rebuilding the soul of America.