Sunday, September 11, 2011

Long Island Voices

The dirty dinner dishes sit on the counter. The bills remain in their envelopes. Tonight is the first time I've had all week to sit down and write. But the mundane tasks can wait.

I've been looking forward to sitting down and being able to write all day. All day, in between routine household chores, I have had time to think what about I would write about when I sat down tonight. The feral pigs and goats I saw on my late afternoon hike up here in Foggy Redwood Country? The San Francisco bay during a recent unusually warm evening? My friend's foray into growing vegetables for the first time?

But today is "9-11", the tenth anniversary of that terrible day, which we as a country remember with sorrow for the victims and their families and with reverance for the first responders and with renewed patriotism and courage for our country. How can I not comment on this bittersweet day, a day that will not be forgotten by anyone who has lived through it?

I cannot do justice in a blog posting to all the wonderful articles I've read written by writers with better wordsmithing skills than I . Indeed, words fail me when I see the heart wrenching photos of family members touching a loved one's name on the wall at the Ground Zero memorial in New York City.

But reading my brother's Facebook posting after dinner tonight brought it all back to me. You see, my brother lives on Long Island in New York, only twenty minutes from New York City. While the terrorism event affected everyone in America, I think that New Yorkers felt it more intensely than most of us.

Everyone in the New York City area, which includes surrounding suburbs north of the City where my sister lives, on Long Island where my brother lives and south-western Connecticut where my dad and two siblings live, knew someone or of someone who had lost a loved one that day. In my dad's church alone, five members of his parish died that day, all family men who commuted to and worked in the City. Some of the firemen who responded when duty called that day lived in the suburbs of Long Island.

A while back, a musical director on Long Island decided to create a concert to commemorate the anniversary of 9-11. He also composed his own choral music for the concert. In addition, proceeds from the concert are to benefit local veterans, some of whom were in the audience tonight. When the veterans and First Responders in the audience stood up to sing one of the songs with the chorus, my brother said he almost lost his composure, he was so choked with emotion. My brother, who is a not only a singer but also a community theater actor and director, said that it was the first time he had ever received a standing ovation at intermission.

Even though I didn't hear the concert, I read the heart felt tributes to the choir on the choir Facebook page. It sounds like there was not a dry eye in the house. I can only applaud from afar for the Long Island Voices, directed by composer Michael Bussewitz-Quarm, who presented his own original work "Dies Magna", a major choral piece with instrumental accompaniment, written in honor of the heros of September 11, 2001 and sung with sincere emotion on this tenth anniversary, September 11, 2o11. We will not forget.

1 comment:

  1. As a resident of another area that was hit - I can say with extreme certainty that we were affected just as much as those in New York. We lost long-standing members of our community and it hurt more than words can describe. We will definitely never forget.