Time and Time Again

The murmurs have started again. 9-11; September 11th; The Day. Honestly, no matter how many years pass, it still seems like it happened yesterday. And I guess that’s why we don’t stop talking about it, because for as long as people still feel stung by it and remark on how fresh it still feels, we’ll have to keep talking through it and the implications of that day.

The lingering pain, questions and grief that still reside in the American psyche are what fuel the need for yearly memorials and I’m grateful for them. At these gatherings people can mourn together, or put their grief to good use by raising money for the still devastated families of those lost in the disaster. Memorabilia is created, shared, and collected as well, everything from t-shirts to baseball caps, and especially challenge coins. Beautiful commemorative pieces that are slightly larger than half dollars and are full of symbolism, color, and detail.

Challenge coins are a way to both remember the tragedy, raise money for those most directly affected by it, and also to bond with others who have the same coin. Challenge coins are components of a fraternity, which was the original purpose in the military. And after the country went through the violence and terror associated with 9-11, one can make a case that we’re all soldiers to an extent, and therefore, can truly appreciate these challenge coins for what they were originally intended.

I can’t say I’m looking forward to the upcoming video coverage and analysis, the rehashing, of that day, but it is always nice to talk with people, to ask them “Where were you when…” and hear their stories. Despite the differences we all have personally, we all experienced the same sadness that day, and because of that we’re all connected, and we’re all hopeful for a brighter tomorrow.

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