Friday, September 10, 2010

The Other 364 Days

It’s easy enough to know what to do on September Eleventh.

We mourn the dead. We are in awe of the bravery. We remember exactly where we were that day in 2001.

Some choose to use the day for their own purpose. To jump start a political campaign. Or to transform themselves from a pathetic little man in Florida to a national religious leader on Fox News.

They need to look in their own mirrors.

It is what we do the rest of the year that matters.

Do we exhibit grace in grief? Do we choose kindness over hate? Do we open our minds? Heal our hearts? Listen to our own voice?

"If I am to wear this mourning cloak, let it be made of the fabric of love, woven by the fine thread of memory."
~ Molly Fumia, in Safe Passage, Conari Press

Lee Ielpi is a retired firefighter who carried his son’s remains out of Ground Zero …

"Tomorrow can be a better day. I can't bring my son back. I wish to God that I could. But maybe I can make a better day for my grandkids. That's what we're trying to do."

This is Abdu Malahi …

This is a bit of his story …

Grew up in Brooklyn of Yemeni descent. 37 years old. Died at WTC. Audio visual manager at the Marriott. Left wife and 2 children. He married in Yemen and he was working to get a visa for them to come to America. He was one of the true heroes of 9/11.

One survivor wrote, “Abdu saved me from the Marriott World Trade Center the morning of Sept. 11 about 15 minutes before he died when the first tower fell on the hotel. He was a true hero. Despite being told by hotel management to evacuate, Abdu took it upon himself to run from floor to floor to see if any guests remained. I remember him shouting in the hallways and taking guests personally to the stairwell to exit before continuing his run. I'll never forget his face.”

Another survivor wrote: “Abdu saved my life. Because we were told not to evacuate the hotel by management via the intercom system (before the intercom system was destroyed by the second plane crash), Abdu took it upon himself to alert the remaining guests that they must leave. I was waiting in my room when I heard him shouting in the hallway. I opened the door, and he told me I must leave immediately. He escorted me to the stairways before continuing on to save other guests. He is constantly in my thoughts. He is my guardian angel. I love this man whom I only met once. It is still hard for me to comprehend his sacrifice for strangers. Abdu was a very special man, indeed.”

Mr. Malahi was a Muslim as are many of our soldiers serving all over the world.

"To look backward for a while is to refresh the eye, to restore it, and to render it the more fit for its prime function of looking forward."
~Margaret Fairless Barber, The Roadmender

Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack in everything,
That's how the light gets in.

~Leonard Cohen


ds said...

Thank you, Dianne, for this important and powerful reminder. I will carry it with me all day. The story of Abdu is truly humbling.

Ron said...

Absolutely the most AWESOME 9/11 post I've ever read.

I need to give you a HUGE hug...

((((( Dianne )))))

Thank you. Just, thank you!

X ya, dear lady.

P.S. "They need to look in their own mirrors." - Amen!

Mrs. C said...

Thank you, Dianne. I would prefer to ignore people who are clamouring for attention in this way. Have you read Fahrenheit 451? :)

Hugs to you and your family. It's a truly beautiful post, friend.

Martha Z said...

Thank you, Dianne, for a beautiful post.

Cloudia said...

Wonderful Beacon of a Post!!!!!

Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Akelamalu said...

Yours is a true reflection of 9/11.
Well written Dianne. x

Arkansas Patti said...

Well and beautifully done Dianne.
Think we could all profit by Molly Fumia's words.
There is way too much hate and fear on our little blue planet these days.

Daryl said...

and truer words were never writ ... someone else's blog urged that we remember 9/12 and how we all came together ... amen to both posts

CrystalChick said...

Wonderful post, Dianne. Thank you.

Reb said...

Very moving post Dianne. Well done.

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a Beautiful Tribute, Dianne, and especially in these times of such dissenting Hatred---Yes, that is what it is. Sometimes I feel so many people forget why this country was formed in the first place...!
Very Very wonderful writing, my dear,and as always---you move me.

Micky-T said...

I love how you "see"!

I wish for a 100 million more that could see as you do.

We're changing here in America, we all know it and we all know it not's changing in a "world peace" kind of way.

More of us have to stand up and defend ALL peoples of ALL nations that want peace amongst ALL governments, evil or not.

fermicat said...

Thank you for this reminder about what is truly important. It is all too easy to lose sight of that.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Wonderful post Dianne. It should be read by everyone....thanks.

Volly said...

Thank you! It is especially important to read such opinions from someone who lives in your area. Many of my Facebook friends still live in NY and I am saddened at the hateful and bigoted things some of them post. That makes it all the more meaningful to read a differing view.

I think, maybe it's too soon to expect them to think rationally about this because the wound is too fresh, especially for those who were directly affected (family members). I remember my grandmother being prejudiced against Japanese people because a couple of her sons fought in the Pacific during WW2 (but were not killed or grievously wounded). The son of one of those sons married a Japanese lady about 30 years after Pearl Harbor. So I'm resigned that this generation is likely to be dominated by the haters. The future will bring reconciliation and healing.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Thank you lovely lady.

Lisa (Mountain Photog) said...

This was absolutely wonderful. Such a healing--and--hopeful post, full of heart and soul. Just like its author. I have been so discouraged by Terry Jones and all like him hell bent on that hate train. What possible purpose could any of that serve?

At any rate, your post was a breath of fresh air. Thank you. :)

christopher said...

Beautifully done.

Hilary said...

Beautiful, Dianne. Thank you.

slommler said...

Such a beautiful and poignant post Dianne! And thanks for telling me of Abdu Malahi! Very powerful!
Congrats on your POTW...!!!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful tribute, Dianne to so many brave men and women who, when the call came, chose to save others.

A worthy POTW winner.

Frank Baron said...

Bravo and amen.

Anonymous said...

This was beautiful,tender and loving. Just brilliant!

MaggieGem said...

Congrats on POTW!

What a wonderful and healing post, well done and kudos!


Nessa said...

Thank-you for doing a loving post as memorial. i was saddened to read so many other types.

Land of shimp said...

I loved this post. I'm kind of prone to really long comments, and this will be short because I'm still crying.

That really was just beautiful, thank you for sharing it. I hadn't heard Abdu's story before, and now I'll never forget it, or him.