I didn’t write anything yesterday.
Last year, I wrote about Eric Lehrfeld as part of the 2996 September 11 tribute to those who perished in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, or Flight 93.
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.
3 thoughts on “September 11, 2007”
Simply beautiful, Dana.
We remember 9/11 also. It is the date of my Cousin's birthday and we had just opened a card from over the pond, when a call came through telling us to put the TV on. We did and every year since we raise a glass in memory. You will gather I am in the UK.
I am that bride!
Thanks so much for your lovely piece on Eric. Isn't it overwheming to think that this is only one story of so so many?
As irrevocably changed as I am by 9/11, I have to admit that the positive awakening I experienced as a result of the loss has been a key piece of the healing equation. While I can't comfortably say that it has outweighed the bad, it is occupying a place in my soul where the good is increasing exponentially every day.
Eric was a part of that in life, and continues to be.
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