I am no longer blogging here at Little Nuances, but I would love for you to join me on my author website www.leewarren.info.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

On 9/11 and Filling in the Gaps

Photo: Kenji Ross
The boy, who looked to be about four, tugged on his Chicago Cubs cap and took several practice swings. A man moved in close and tossed him an underhanded pitch. The boy swung and missed.

He missed the next four pitches as well, but did not appear the least bit fazed.

While this appeared to be a competitive game of softball, showcasing talents of people of all ages, exceptions were made for little ones – no strikeouts allowed.

On the sixth pitch, the boy made contact – a dribbler toward the shortstop.

The girl who was playing short, who looked to be maybe 13, was thin as a rail, but she has the arm of Derek Jeter. She threw out grown men on several occasions. So, the play looked to be routine for her.

All of this took place as I walked around the park and I was screened from the play, so I didn’t see what happened next, but the girl with the cannon arm didn’t field the ball cleanly or the ball found a hole. Either way, the boy slid headfirst toward the first base bag, barely beating the throw.

People cheered from the stands as the cloud of dirt settled. The boy stood up, tugged on his cap again, and got ready to advance to second as the next better stepped into the box.

I’m just guessing, but I got the feeling that this was a church group out enjoying a Sunday afternoon at a local park. People of all ages, races, shapes and sizes played. It was beautiful to see. There was something so innocent about it. And then it struck me.

The little boy has no recollection of the events of September 11, 2001. He wasn’t even born yet. And the girl with the cannon arm would have just been two. So, she probably doesn’t have any recollection either. That’s good and bad at the same time.

When they reach an appropriate age though, the people around them will need to fill in the gaps about what happened that day. Otherwise, the events that changed our country will not seem real to them.

My grandmother used to keep a photo of her husband on a stand by her front door. He died 17 years before she did, but she always kept his memory front and center. One of my nieces was born five years after my grandfather died, but she will tell you that she feels like she knew him. The pictures and the stories we shared made her feel that way.

Filling in the gaps for the generation behind us our is responsibility. If we don’t do it, the stories, dreams, beliefs, struggles and triumphs of all the previous generations will die with us.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...