I wish I had some really great opening sentence for this post, but I don’t. I actually wish this was a really great post, but it isn’t.
Every year since that fateful day sixteen years ago, I have written a blog post to remember September 11, 2001. These posts talk to memories, fear, kindness and safety. It would be wrong for me to break with this tradition, even if I don’t have a whole lot to say this time.
This year feels different. I’m distracted. The date kind of crept up on me. Perhaps it is Harvey and Irma. My mind has been everywhere except on remembering one of the worst days in living memory.
These hurricanes suck.
Harvey was beyond imaginable. 51.88 inches of rain is crazy. To give you some perspective, that’s nearly twice the annual rainfall of Toronto, in one day. But it has been really cool to see stories of friends, HR friends, rising to the occasion. In particular, I’d like to give a shout-out to Franny Oxford, who has really supported her community during tough times.
The damage from Irma at the point of this post is unknown, but it has made landfall twice so far in the U.S., causing the seas to rush out, and expectedly, come back in with a vengeance. I have many friends and family in Florida and those who sheltered in place who show pictures of downed trees, flooding and destroyed property. And that’s just the U.S. I can’t imagine the destruction in Cuba and the outer islands of the Caribbean.
Hurricanes make us vulnerable. We get so busy focused on picking up and rebuilding our lives that we fail to notice the signs of things that could be so much worse.
I want to live in the free world. I want to live in a world without fear. I will fight to keep this, if I need to. Our enemies strike when we are not looking.
One of the great legacies of September 11th was seeing the sheer volume of generosity and kindness that was displayed in the days, weeks, months and years following that day. Already, North Americans are showing their kindness to those in need. Whether Harvey or Irma turn into a Katrina is yet to be known but we’ve prepared.
That is all.