Thursday, September 11, 2014

September 11th Meditation

"May the pain of every living being
Be completely cleared away, 
May I be the doctor and the medicine
And may I be the nurse
For all sick beings in the world
Until everyone is healed... 
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed."
  --from the Prayer for World Peace by     
    Geshe Acharya Thubten Loden

Last June when we were in New York our granddaughter wanted to visit Ground Zero and the World Trade Center Memorial. It was her first visit there. So we took the subway all the way down town, got off with all the other visitors that seemed to be going where we headed.

The first thing we saw as we looked up, up was that new skyscraper--called: Freedom Tower. It is impressive but I felt somehow it was a mite arrogant.

When the sun is just right the Tower casts its long shadow on the World Trade Center Memorial. All its tallness and its spectacular dominance of the skyline dwarfs what we find in the shadows of the Memorial. The over-three thousand names chisled into those two square fountains where the Trade Center Towers had stood. It was hard the find a place to stand. People were everywhere around those two square monuments holding names and names and names. Then we traveled that winding path that led us to the Museum.

After getting our tickets you begin the journey of that terrible day. We saw the sad faces that desperate people had placed on the fences saying; "Have you seen..." and there would be a picture of someone that we now know would not return. We followed the photographs of that day until we came to twisted metal, a half-burned fireman's uniform.There were bits and pieces of people's lives scattered throughout that memorial. I was struck once again by the faces of so many of those that lost their lives. Photos that could not tell the story of loved ones left
behind grieving still.

My granddaughter didn't say much as we left. What is there to say? Silence sometimes says it better than words.

It's been thirteen years now. We still are neck-deep in the longest war we ever had. Five thousand of our brave men and women did not make it back. Will, one day there be a monument to all those that heard a call and responded--not knowing how hollow and wrong that call was. What have we learned. The Generals want us to march back into the war. Saber-rattling, it seems is fun. It looks like we Americans are once again going it alone. Who do we need--we can do it all--that is, if we forget the price in lives and in all those thousands and thousands that came back broken forever--not to speak of our credit card from the "war on terror" yet to be paid.

We are as divided as we have been in a long time. Surely ISIS has picked up the word that we will not follow our Commander in Chief--but that we would rather squabble and posture and make sure our behinds are covered for the next election.

Did they all die in vain...those three thousand...those five thousand over there and all those we have sent sorta alive-ones that try to hang on after their third-fourth-fifth deployment? Could we still learn something that might just make this country, this world better. Who knows?

I keep coming back to that poem written by J.J. Goss, entitled "Aftermath of  9-11".

"The line at the Dunkin' Donuts is long again
people are considering
a honey dipped and a hazelnut dunkacino
important business once again
some have switched to vanilla chai though
in a drive-through attempt at the semi-spiritual 

a woman driving an extra long mini van
with a baby in the back seat 
and a little girl even further back
talks loudly into a cell phone
laughing as she waits in the line
oblivious to her kids once again

most cars don't have flags on them anymore
especially the Porsches and the Volvos
but the beat up Chevy Lumina
and the motorcycle
sport well worn ones
patriotism is alive and well
in the empty wallets 
of those who can only afford
a small regular 
to go."

--RogerLovette /

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