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Today is Sept 11, 2010.  No one will forget where they were on September 11,2001.  I know I won’t.

I remember my high school classmate, Sareve Dukat.  Sareve was so happy in her life. She was married to her high school sweetheart, had 2 great girls and her ideal job.  We went through school together in Leonia.  Sareve was such a wonderful person.  We had spoken on the phone in late August for a good while.  Our conversation was about getting a bunch of us classmates together in the fall.  The plan was for mid October because Sareve and a few others observed the Jewish High Holy Days.  I knew she worked downtown in NYC.  Because I didn’t know her office was in the Twin Towers it was a horrible shock to learn she had died there.

Because so many Bergen County residents commute to Manhattan for work, nearly all of us know of someone who died then.  The newspapers had obituaries of local victims every day for over 3 weeks beginning 3 days afterward.  I think of several friends who lost their children, wife, husband, father or mother.

One of the most poignant stories I heard was from Harrington Park.  A little kindergarten girl that December went into her elementary school Holiday Store and asked for help.  She wanted to buy her Mommy a Christmas gift.  The other mothers there knew her mom had died on 911.  They tried to help her but the little girl was adamant.  She wanted to buy Mommy a Xmas gift so she wouldn’t be mad at her any longer and would come back home from heaven.

Today we also have the  histrionics of those with their own selfish agendas goaded on by immoral politicians seeking gain in November.  This is a solemn day to be properly respected.  The behavior on all sides is repugnant to me but there is a bigger issue here.

The Nazi’s burned books.  The Communists burned books.  This is the United States of America.  Because our agenda is set by our Constitution and our Bill of Rights, we are better than this.  The tragedy of Sept. 11 cannot allow the dark side to win.  We cannot allow them to tear us apart to the point where we lose our integrity and our uniquely American values of freedom, inclusion and grit.  We must roll up our sleeves together to preserve and honor our ideals.  They do matter and we must cherish and honor them.  To do otherwise is to literally spit on the graves of those who died.  September 11 is at times an unbearably sad day.  It should also be a day to reaffirm the best in us and our country.

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