Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pentagon Memorial

A calm oasis lies between a busy highway and the Pentagon. Rows of benches, sleek as airplane wings, follow the trajectory of American Airlines Flight 77. Arranged by year of birth, youngest to oldest, the name of each person who died is engraved on the edge of each bench. Flight 77 flew low over my house on September 11, 2001, its shadow momentarily darkening my world. The shadow remains, a tiny package of fear and sadness that never quite disappears. It expands inside me and makes its presence known every September. I am grateful for the memorial. It is a place to pray for those who died and to pray for the living, who must find a way to live bravely and joyfully.