Remembering those lost on 9/11

- Drums thumped and bagpipes blared as Philly Police and Fire Personnel marched up Second Street and around onto Arch this morning. They’ve marched today every year since 2001.   

Police Commissioner Richard Ross says we owe remembrance to those lost on 9/11.  All of them.  "Those who served as well as those who were just innocent victims," said the commish.  "I know it changed the way we do things in law enforcement and public safety – and it changed our way of life in this country.   So we should never forget – and we never will."

The march and ceremony was beautiful, and witnessed by some.   Enough?  I don’t know.

In Hamilton, the Steinert High School choir sang the national anthem, beautifully, kids were babies when the towers came down, some maybe not born.   I asked former Mercer County Sheriff Gil Lugossy what it takes to keep young folks mindful of what happened on 9/11.  "I think that’s a challenge and an urge for all of us," said Lugosi, who's also an Army veteran.   "In the families with younger children – grandchildren – great-grandchildren – and certainly with our educational system."

Pennsauken’s 9/11 Memorial does something a little different – they put out nearly 3,000 flags – one for every person who’s been lost.

I watched the towers come down from the roof of my now-wife’s apartment at Bleecker and Thompson streets, twenty blocks north of the Trade Center.   I couldn’t forget that day if I lived forever.  Jack Scalia was in third grade when it happened.  "It was scary.  You know, is there going to be another follow-up attack?   You know – as an eight year-old boy those things kind of run through your mind."

Jack said the best we can do is keep sharing those stories and that rang true.  I can’t expect my son to feel the way I do about 9/11 – he wasn’t there .   Just as I can’t feel the way my dad and grand-dad did about Pearl Harbor or D-Day.   I observe those days because I was taught to by my dad and others.   We say we’ll never forget.  Maybe we won’t, but it’s our job to make sure our kids and grandkids don’t either.

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