Shabbat Message: “Chai Anniversary of 9/11”

By Margie Miller
WLCJ President

The older we get, time seems to just fly by. In the blink of an eye, our children are grown. In a quick moment, we become our family’s elder statesmen. We shake our heads in disbelief as time passes.

This week is the 18th anniversary of the events of 9/11. In so many ways, I can close my eyes and picture my husband like I saw him yesterday. Then, I have moments when I question the reality of the life I used to live. How could 18 years have passed so quickly?

Remembering back is easy and often. The triggers are everywhere. Anytime I look up at a cloudless sky, I think of 9/11. Anytime I see smoke or hear sirens, I think of 9/11. Anytime I happen to glance as the commuter train pulls into my local station and I watch the people get off, briefcases in hand, I think of my husband, who took that train a million times. When my friend John Feal emails what seems like almost every day, that another responder has died from the toxic air they breathed on the pile for 6 months, I cannot think of anything else. 9/11 was not just a day, but an ongoing event. Grief doesn’t last one day, it follows you like a shadow.

This year, I will once again attend the ceremony at Ground Zero. I will cry each time they ring the bells, each representing when the planes struck all four sites and when the buildings collapsed. I will cry as the names are read, especially by the children who never met the parent whose name they announce and honor.  I will cry as each of us hug each other…the Marsh & McLennan friends I knew before and all the thousands I’ve met since. There are a lot of tears, but there are also smiling nods as we look into each other’s eyes and know that we have not travelled this road alone. We have leaned on and supported each other. For that, we are grateful. For that, we embrace.

But that is not the only thing I hope you remember on this anniversary.

Years ago, another 9/11 friend, Jay Winuk, helped establish September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. So, what I offer to you this September 11th, is to follow our Women’s League theme Chesed and honor this special day by doing service in your community. We always say, when someone dies, “May their memory be for a blessing.” This week, I ask you, in Joel’s memory to do a blessing. Don’t just remember. DO. Do something.

Shabbat Shalom,

Margie Miller

Wife of Joel Miller

Tower One, 97th Floor

Marsh & McLennan