Approximately 1 week after the World Trade Center collapsed, I was coming home from work, trying to get back to a normal routine. I was living in Michigan at the time, with my (now) ex-boyfriend.
I opened our mailbox and took out the latest edition People and Sports Illustrated. Like every other issue coming out that week, they were dedicated to 9/11. I flipped through the pages, looking at the pictures and reading the stories. I was drawn into the heart break. The heroism. The wondering "why".
At the end of the Sports Illustrated magazine was a column by Rick Riley. It was titled, Four of a Kind.
The next day, I made a copy of that article and hung it in my cubicle at work.
When the ex and I broke up, and I moved back to Minnesota, I hung it in my cube at my new job.
When I left that job to work at camp, it was hung up at my desk. It made the trek to camp every summer.
When I left camp to teach at the shady, unethical technical college, I hung it up on my file cabinet.
When I got the job at the online school? Yep. In my cube it went.
It is now hanging up, in my office at the local community college.
Every desk that I've worked at, this has been hanging up as part of my "personal decorations." And every job I've worked at, someone has asked about it. It's been read by camp counselors from around the world. I've used it in the classroom to discuss so many topics I've lost count. It's been read by university presidents, students, and administrations.
Like clockwork, just last week, the new Dean of Technical Programs stopped by to see me. He saw the article and he asked, “What’s that article about?”
I pulled down the now off-white, wrinkled, paper—with its heavily taped corners and pin-holes. He sat there, quietly reading. He said what others have said, and what I've said for the last 10 years….
That is the best article about 9/11 that I’ve ever read.
You may agree or disagree with that statement. But while we reflect on 9-11 this weekend, let’s remember that we—as a nation—banded together and did just the opposite of what those hijackers and Al-Qaeda wanted us to do.
We fought back.
We stood up.
We said, “you’re not welcome in our thoughts, in our hearts, on our soil.”
And it all began with 4 guys on Flight 93.