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Remembering What’s Important Eight Years Later – 911 and Smile on Me

September 11, 2009

I try to make a point of watching some of the 911 service each year. For me, it’s a day when the vitriol, political partisanship and self-centered behavior is halted, allowing for introspection and respect for those people lost eight years ago and their families. The heated debates over healthcare reform, which have also masked other underlying disenchantments with various US government policies, have escalated to sheer lunacy. Just witness the “You lie!” outburst from Republican Congressman Joe Wilson the other day. What the hell is going on? Where is the sanctity of Congress?

I still personally have trouble at times comprehending that the two towers at the World Trade Centre are no more, that structures of that size could be so easily demolished in a matter of minutes. And that all of us are somehow living in some sort of fog, a fake reality, being given a test by our maker to see what we’re made of. We’re clearly failing the test, if there is one.

Three years ago leading up to the fifth anniversary of 911, I was struggling to complete a piece for the piano. It was a quiet yet powerful composition that I had stalled out on finishing. On September 11, 2006, I watched both the services in Canada and the United States. It was uplifting but very sad at the same time. For some reason it suddenly came to me how to complete my piano piece. I named it “Smile on Me,” in honor of those lost in 2001 who are looking down upon us, reassuring us that it will be okay, if only we would stop the hatred and intolerance.

If we could do just one thing, it would be to treat one another as those who are no longer with us would want it.

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