I didn’t write anything yesterday.
I didn’t participate in 2996 this year — I checked out the site, and it seems as though it has grown beyond what the originators are able to manage. It didn’t look as though it would be as organized this year, and I was worried that proper justice wouldn’t be done.
It is interesting to me, however, that participating last year really changed something about my outlook. This year, when September 11 came and went, Eric Lehrfeld, a man I never met in life, was on my mind all day. Not Osama bin Laden. Not Al-Qaeda. Not planes flying into buildings or into a field in Pennsylvania. I didn’t watch any video (if any was shown). I didn’t read any articles or participate in memorials. But all day, Eric Lehrfeld’s smiling face popped into my mind, and I thought about his wife, his sister, his parents, and most of all, his little girl.
I wonder if each September 11, I’ll learn a little more about him. This year, for instance, I learned that he brought a puppy to an outdoor wedding, fulfilling the bride’s wish to have “at least one dog” at the ceremony. I also learned he liked The Simpsons. I also learned a little bit more about his last moments.
We are often told that when we put a real person, a real name to a tragedy, only then does it become real. Only then do we personalize it. Until it happens, it doesn’t really sound like anything but a trite little aphorism. It’s true. I think I will probably think of Eric every year.