I'm reflecting on the events of this day 8 years ago. Loss and tragedy have a way of etching into our fiber personally and collectively.  Like a cross section of an oak, we can see what years brought amazing growth and which ones presented intense hardship.  The ring that describes September 11th in my soul is clear in it's grief and amazement that such an event could happen, right here, in our city, in our country. Yet new rings encircle it now, each with their own reaction to the preceding years.

Today I remember Sergio Villanueva fireman from ladder 132 engine 4 and cousin of a friend of mine.  Singing at his memorial gave me the opportunity to express my incomprehensible fear and grief over the events of September 11.  I will forever be humbled by being allowed to be a part of his family for such an intimate sharing of their tragedy.  

My nephew Alex was only 10 at the time, today he is a recent member of the Coast Guard after serving as a firefighter in his hometown in NJ.  It's that pure and simple, the events of September 11th and of the heroism of people like Sergio inspired Alex to want to make a difference saving peoples lives.  

Today I am remembering.

History has a way of smoothing over jagged edges. We may not necessarily be healed, but the tragedy absorbs into life into something completely new.

May we never forget.