Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembrance & Resolve

Eleven years ago today, my world - along with the worlds of many - changed forever. And as strange as it is to say, I think we need to be sure to pause and remember. I realized that need existed when it struck me that many of my students were in elementary school when the events of 9/11 unfolded.  I was a full-grown adult and I couldn't fathom what my eyes were taking in - and I have days in which that is still true.

Readers of this blog know the great admiration I have for Father Mychal Judge - I've written about his life on the last two 9/11 anniversaries (here and here) and I encourage you to learn a bit more about this incredible man who rode with "his boys" to the fiery Towers and whose name adorns the first death certificate issued for that terrible, terrible event.

For some things, there is no logic, there is no reason. Seeking one will drive you around the bend.  So what do we do? How do we go on in a world which can seem to be driven by madness and chaos?

We stand. And we stand tall.

J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5) considered the cosmic questions raised by the horrors that we now call "9/11" and he, along with the artists John Romita Jr. and Scott Hanna, issued his answers in an unusual format.  At the time, Straczynski was writing The Amazing Spider-Man. It makes sense - Spidey is a hero closely associated with New York City; he always has called the Big Apple his home.  But how could a comic - a child's plaything - make sense of or find order in the midst of Hell?


I've included only a few panels here - you really should find the story for yourself.  I'll freely admit to tearing up as I read it and I can be a hard case sometimes.  Go seek it out - it's The Amazing Spider-Man, issue #36. You can find it in the trade paperback "Revelations" for about ten bucks.

It's so worth it.

Spidey arrives at the Twin Towers.

"Only madmen could contain the thought, execute the act, fly the planes.  The sane world will always be vulnerable to madmen, because we cannot go where they go to conceive of such things."

"Whatever our history, whatever the root of our surnames, we remain a good and decent people, and we do not bow down and we do not give up.  The fire of the human spirit cannot be quenched by bomb blasts or body counts.  Cannot be intimidated forever into silence or drowned by tears. We have endured worse before; we will bear this burden and all that come hereafter, because that's what ordinary men and women do. No matter what. This has not weakened us. It has only made us stronger."

"We stand blinded by the light of your unbroken will. Before that light, no darkness can prevail. They knocked down two tall towers. In their memory, draft a covenant with your conscience, that we will create a world in which such things need not occur. A world which will not require apologies to children, but also a world whose roads are not paved with the husks of their inalienable rights. They knocked down two tall towers. Graft now their echo onto your spine. Become girders and glass, stone and steel, so that when the world sees YOU, it sees THEM. And stand tall. Stand tall."

On this day of somber remembrance, be at peace. Heroes walk among us. And they don't wear Spandex tights or masks.

Resolve to be worthy of them.

1 comment:

Nikki Faith said...

Thanks for a beautiful post, Dale! Stand tall.