There are some days
that sincerely haunt us,
some days that make us
cringe, or blush, laugh or shake
our heads as we remember
how we felt, how we acted
that day. A memory of a day gone by.
But I think it’s rare that we
remember the actual date
of our joy or shame. We look
at the calendar and the numbers
have no effect on our memory,
we just know that it happened
on some random day, oh so long ago.
There’s only one set of numbers
that, for me, and maybe for others,
that truly is branded into memory and
is simply unforgettable. We see it
at least twice a day sometimes and it
never fails to remind us.
Three little numbers, we’ve always
only known as the way to summon
emergency responders. Three
numbers we’ve heard so many times,
even William Shatner hosted a TV show
with those numbers. (Kudos if you
remember the show.)
Three numbers, now in the pantheon
of infamous dates. Never to be forgotten
by those who bore witness. Never to be
disregarded every time the clock changes
from nine-ten to nine-eleven. Never to
be out of mind when you look at a
calendar for September.
A date, a moment, a blink of the eye,
a second spent in memory of where you
were and what you were doing, if you cried,
if you held you hand to your mouth, if you
reached for the hand of a loved one.
You think of it every time you see those
numbers, even if just for a millisecond,
you think about it.
I’m wearing my American Flag
lapel pin today. I never forget to
put it on when I see this date on my
calendar. It’s less about patriotism and
more about solemn reverence and
remembrance. We remember they
died. But embrace that they lived.