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9/11 Anniversary: It Takes a Village

It takes a village.  We all know the sentiment—and believe it!  It does take a village to make life more manageable, more enjoyable.  Especially with the hectic fast-paced, technologically engaged life we live today.  It is more important than ever to stop, pause and connect with the individuals around us.

In day-to-day life, the fellow villagers are the ones who help babysit, carpool, hold open the door, stop and ask how you are doing and really care about the answer, pack your lunch, put a love note in that packed lunch or suit pocket, call to see how the interview went, do the laundry even if it’s not their day, read a bedtime story, are careful to sit down with others for dinner, remind others that it’s okay to not do the dishes tonight or suggest a trek outside to watch the stars.  It’s the human connection, the interaction that makes the village work. The awareness that this sense of village needs to expand in ever widening circles even to the strangers in the crowd give rise to such movements as practicing Random Acts of Kindness.  We need the human touch.

When crises surface—whether it’s a house fire, an earthquake, a lost job or car accident—then the village is even more important.  And people step up, even strangers.  During the aftermath of the Northridge Earthquake—I lives in Chatsworth very close to the epicenter—we all were there for each other, giving a blanket, a hug, a bottle of water, a place to stay, updates on loved ones from other parts of the city.  If someone needed to pause and collect themselves, someone else stepped up to make sure they were okay, to help them take that next step forward.  We see this in the news all the time as villagers respond to whatever emergency surfaces. 

This weekend as we honor the 10 year anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11, the power of the village is even more apparent, and important.  We are reminded through the memories, photos, and specials of the villagers who stepped forward to be there during the immediate tragedy and its ongoing aftermath.  The first-responders, the ongoing helpers, the volunteers, the city workers, the survivors, the family members, the passengers on the plane, the newscasters, the distant communities sending help and prayers.  We are in this together—and we need to remember that, especially this weekend as we reach out with a touch, a tear, a prayer.

One great way we can all show our solidarity with the village this weekend is to display the flag proudly and prominently.  This idea was presented via an email from a friend.  It originated with the Activities Facilitator for the Greenfield Unified School District in Bakersfield, California. Every community across the country is planning some sort of event or activity to remember not just the tragedy of 9/11 but the strength and power of the village that kept us all going.  Those immediately impacted by the tragedy especially need our ongoing care and support, but all the village members also need a chance to join hearts and hands as we move forward, together.    

The Nation’s tribute is available through the World Trade Center Memorial. To view this website, go to the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.  This site offers a wide array of information about the tragedy and the heroes of 9/11 as well as interactive opportunities to share stories, find names, appreciate memories, and build connections. Another site allows people to express thanks to the heroes of 9/11. 

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“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” Jane Howard

“We do no great things, only small things with great love.”  Mother Teresa

“Every time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope. . . and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy. . . those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest wall of oppression and resistance.”  Robert F. Kennedy


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