Strength and fragility.

I've kept it all these years.

This was the headline from the Herald-Tribune, September 11, 2001: “Fragile Beauty Under Assault”. It was an article about coral reefs which seemed interesting to me when I bought the paper that morning in Braga, Portugal. Later that day, it felt almost prophetic. Irrational, I know, but it seemed that reason did not exist on that day. Sheltered from the day’s events by 3,000 miles of ocean, I still reeled from the images from my home. Even after knowing my brother, who worked one block away, was safe (what fortune that he wasn’t on site that day), as were the rest of my family, I still felt dizzy and sick. I had always thought the Towers were beautiful, but the word ‘fragile’ would never have entered my mind. Not until I watched them crumble.

I’m not one for overt, public declarations of mourning, and I honestly did not plan to sit down and write this. I pulled out my file of newspaper clippings that I collected for the year following the attacks. I wanted to privately commemorate that day and how I felt. When I came to the Herald-Tribune, I suddenly wanted someone else to see it. And so I offer it up as my small tribute.

Ten years later, we are rebuilding. Our strength is not just in our structures and our symbols. It is in ourselves.