I Remember...

The morning of September 11, 2001 suddenly made all of us more aware of the people we love and the importance of appreciating each other as human beings. As the death toll rose in the weeks and months after, my awareness of the individual cost became even more poignant.

It was in early 2003, however, when I walked into the 9/11 memorial exhibit at the National Museum of American History with my six-week-old son that the 2,996 deaths of that fateful day became more than a statistic, but a very real and personal realization that it was actually 2,996 people multiplied by countless friends, family members, acquaintances. Their families’ loss became unfathomable to me as I looked at my little boy and thought of the parents who had lost children, children who had lost parents, and siblings and friends who had lost a precious part of their life. I realized that the cost wasn’t just 2,996 – it was almost infinite. And there were no words.

I knew no one personally who died that day, but I do know that part of my heart is in the ruins of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and another part reaches out to those who have gone on living and remembering after a devastating personal tragedy that they neither invited nor could avoid.

That is why I feel honored to post this small tribute :

Harry Blanding
Blakeslee, PA

He spoke often and lovingly of his wife Debbie and his three small children, whether he was jogging through a park with a friend, attending church, working out, coaching little league, or at the office. His smile touched countless lives, and remains the most remembered symbol of his character, which was marked by happiness, goodness, interest in others, and a zest and energy for life and providing for his family whom he loved so dearly.

For Harry, as well as for the 2,995 other victims, those who love them, and those whom I love and live for, I will never forget.


Nettie said...

Harry sounds like he was a very nice man. I am glad these tributes are being done. It is good to be reminded that this tragedy was not just a national one, but a very personal one to so many, as well.

The Amazing Trips said...

Each and every one of the lives lost on 9-11 pains me. Because of my circumstances right now, the victims who were parents to young children are particularly difficult. Thanks for telling us about Harry - he's in my prayers today.

~V~ said...

Small...but meaningful and purpose!
Thank you for your tribute!

Tammy said...

Isn't it amazing when you think about how many lives were changed forever...not just those that perished, but all who loved them. It's overwhelming.
Thank you for sharing this and for the tribute to Harry.

(I have my memories posted today too)

Gina Conroy said...

Thank you for remembering in this special way!

Faith said...

Thanks for sharing a bit of this wondeful man with all of us!

Millie said...

I think it's great that so many people are posting tributes to the victims/heroes. It's really lovely. He sounds like a wonderful man.

At the risk of sounding light-minded, that was one crappy day, wasn't it? I can feel nothing but sadness and helpless anger when I think about it and where I was, watching the footage on TV...

Geologychick said...

Thank you for your post today!

kateandjona said...

Thank you for remembering Harry today.

Jonathon's Closet remembers Robert Levine.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to do a tribute, it is so nice to read about people as individuals.

Emily K. said...

Yes, and thanks for asking so politely. I've enjoyed your blog for a while too, but never had the guts to ask such a simple, obvious question. ps, I think I've met you in real life. :)

rena said...

Well, first of all, I want to wish you a Happy belated Birthday!!! You're just a baby at 16 x 2...and yes, I had to count with my fingers.

Your tribute to Mr. Blanding was excellent. He had such a kind face. I hope and pray that his family are at peace.

Blessing to you my friend.

Kathie said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about 9/11 as well as paying tribute to Harry. It means a lot to me to be able to learn more about the people who were taken on that fateful day.

Jimmy Audiffred: Let the Light Shine.

Other tributes: Frederick Kuo Jr. and Francis Nazario as well as here, also Juan Salas.

Can you help? Some of the 2,996 victims don't have tributes or the ones posted were missing so much, it would be a disservice to their memory, family and friends if one wasn't posted that truly honored them. For a list of these individuals and more info, please go to: ejourn.net/journal and click on "Remembering The Forgotten".

Please pass the candle by sharing other tributes while leaving kind words in the comments of blogs paying tribute to the 2,996 lost on September 11th.

God bless,

Bright One said...

What a beautiful tribute. 9/11 is my baby's birthday, it makes it hard for her sometimes as there are a lot of sad memories associated with the day. I tell her that there were some good things that came of the tragedy though and appreciation of our loved ones is one of those things.

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