SEPTEMBER 11, 2008

By Claudia Costa-Jacobson

The Andes noon whistle blew while three bugles played taps as a part of the New York City memorial service commemorating 9/11/01. I heard both the ordinary and ceremonial that did not blend. Each made me think.

Everyday routines must continue while we remember those who died and those who grieve. I was touched by the close-up views of people crying. All the names were read and photos attached people to the names. However I was reminded that some bodies had no one to claim them. Some remains were never found and many still ache for those they lost. Children who can’t remember because they were too young or not yet born are deprived by what happened to their family.

I recall exactly where I was when the second plane hit the second tower. We were working at the Beaverkill Valley Inn in Lew Beach. Mary Ellen and I held hands. She knelt behind my sofa while she prayed the Rosary and refused to move. We both screamed when the towers went down. I yelled at the TV to get some fighters up in the air, not knowing that fighter planes were up and along the Hudson. Now I’m grateful for communication that kept all other aircraft from entering the sky, or surely more innocent people would have died.

Mary Ellen said, “Maybe we should get the Inn ready if people want to get children out of the City.”

I said, “We can take care of them. Should we tell Larry (our boss)?”

That evening I made dinner for a lone man unable to return home due to this calamity.

Days later children arrived as usual for the weekend, but they had blank faces. They had classmates whose parents did not come to school to pick them up.

Those same kids were in the summer camp at the Inn. They decorated individual squares that were sewn together by some Delaware County women and then quilted to make a memorial wall hanging. It was an attempt by many hands to make something good from sorrow.

Author’s Note: My husband remembers the man I cooked dinner for was Austin “Mac” Francis, author of Catskill Rivers and several other books. ~

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