These past 4 weeks have taken me away from my weekly blog. Mainly it has been a time of regrouping, refreshing, and revisioning of where my life is heading.
Over the past few months I have lost many beloved friends. I am also dealing with an aged mother who has been extremely ill. As you can imagine it has all taken its toll on me. So when my daughter asked me to come down to visit her and watch my granddaughter for her spring break, I jumped at the opportunity.
My daughter lives in Wellington, Florida and in between taking care of my granddaughter I was able to do a little sightseeing of this beautiful community located in the West Palm Beach area. It was during my wanderings that I came upon the Wellington Patriot Memorial.
From the moment I looked upon the tall piece of steel beckoning me to come and see, I knew I was stepping into a special place.
While here in New York City the work is diligently moving along on the World Trade Center project, the town of Wellington completed this memorial in 2011.
The focus of my attention was a donated piece of steel from one of the World Trade Center Twin Towers. The steel, which is divided into three pieces, once stood between the 69th and 71st floor of the second Twin Tower. It was an exterior column panel seven floors below where United Airlines flight 175 impacted. Its number is steel beam C-46.
On December 4th, 2010 the beam, covered with the American flag, arrived in Wellington after being ceremoniously and loving brought from New York .
Vice Mayor Matt Willhite told Sun Sentinel Reporters, “In December 2010 we brought the beam to Florida from New York. The whole time treating the experience with great pride and dignity.” He continued, “It has cost us more than we thought. But, it is an investment into our community.”
The flag now stands at the entrance of the Wellington Patriot Memorial.
Beside the oxidized piece of steel, in the center of the memorial, is the fountain. Its sparkling, clear water steadily flows down at points around the circumference. If you look carefully, on top of the fountain you can see the eternal flame. On Sunday, September 11, 2011 the eternal flame was lit, has continued and will continue to burn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Along the opposite side of the memorial stands 4 etched glass panes. Beautiful and elegant, the names of the nearly 3,000 victims of the World Trade Center attacks can be seen. Below the glass in bold black letters on a white background are the times of the attacks. In front of each of the glass panels is a seat where one can sit and reflect.
Willhite told the Sun-Sentinel. “This will be a place where generations to come will be able to learn about this piece of history.” He was absolutely correct.
On the ground of the memorial are bricks with the names of the First Responders who courageously lost their lives while in the line of duty. As I stooped over to take the pictures of the names the sun shone so bright that my shadow covered them over. Perhaps, when you visit this place you will see them for yourselves.
Just as the names are etched in the bricks and in the clear glass panels, so too the memory of that day on September 11, 2001. Everyone of us can remember exactly where we were, what we were doing and what we were thinking.
As my daughter, granddaughter and I moved around the Patriot Memorial we spoke about that morning. It was a strange day for the two of us because only 2 hours earlier, on that September morning, my daughter was sitting on an American Airline plane at John F. Kennedy Airport. The plane she had traveled on from London to Jamaica had engine trouble and had to make an emergency landing in New York. They moved the passengers onto an American Airlines plane because no other Air Jamaica plane was available.
In the bright sunshine we also spoke about the loved ones that we have lost throughout the years and those most recently gone. I also reflected on the health of my aging mother.
The serenity and peacefulness of the space allowed me to gather my thoughts and process the events in our circle of life. I came away with a heightened sense of gratitude for life and each new day that I see.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” ~ Aristotle.
The quote on the plaque given by the Navarro Family is powerful.
This year 2014, as we work to Kick Fear Now, let us move on with hope for a bright tomorrow. For me, it is a time to re-vision my life and chart new and different journeys. What about you?
Today is a good day to reflect on the life you still have to live. It’s good to embrace the good memories and the joys of the past, but you should never linger there for too long. Life is filled with both joy and pain, love and hate, sadness and happiness. It is interesting how we tend to focus on the negative more than the positive.
Can you find one reason to get up every morning and one thing that you can be grateful for in your life. If so, then you are already on your way to living the courageous life.
To help you further along your journey take a look at the book that started it all, Kick Fear to the Curb: 5 Actions Steps for a Courageous You, and don’t forget to send me an e-mail if you would like to read the first chapter for free.