Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thinking of the 184

On the most recent anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy here in DC, I went on a reflective run. I led the noontime workplace running group, comprised of two other runners that day, down to the Tidal Basin. From there seven years earlier, you could have seen a huge towering plume of smoke emanating from the Pentagon following the crash of American Airlines Flight 77 into its west side at 9:37 a.m. on that beautiful clear morning.

As I do every year on September 11, I ran around the Tidal Basin in tribute to the innocent victims of that dastardly attack. It is the very least I could do.

At the same time, opening dedication ceremonies were underway at the Pentagon for the beautiful new Pentagon 9/11 Memorial, the first 9/11 tribute complex to be built. The compact park is in the flight path of the attack plane, and has 184 benches, one for each of the innocent victims of the tragedy, aged 3 to 71. Their names are inscribed on the benches to ensure that these brethren of ours shall not be forgotten. There are no benches for the five craven and hypocritical murdering religious extremists who also perished there.

We ran at a moderate pace, covering the 1.8 mile circuit around the glimmering body of water on the narrow blacktop footpath along the water’s edge in 18:53 (10:08). There were no winners or losers in this virtual 3K memorial race, just three Americans running and finishing together. Then we ran back to our office, two miles away.


ShirleyPerly said...

Thanks for letting us know about this newest monument. So many reasons to visit and run in DC!

Just12Finish said...

Thank you Peter for representing the rest of us.

Sunshine said...

No benches for the murdering extremists ... and no eternal reward (or virgins) for outrageous misunderstanding of God. Sigh.
Oh the sadness and grief.