Name after name after name. Listening to the families read the names of the dead in New York - their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and friends uttering their names. Some say them in a monotone voice, some say them with a firm voice, some say them with precision, some cry as they mention their loved ones...others, others can barely find the strength to mention the name. The cadence of the voices seems like one continuous prayer, broken only by the brother, son, or daughter telling a personal remembrance. Then, the names start again. 2,606 names.
You can hear the pride, and the pain, as they recite the names. Each name an individual with hopes to fulfill their little corner of the American Dream. But, now, these names have formed a collective. They are all linked and intertwined by a moment we still can't truly comprehend. Survivors linked with other survivor's families in a way they never could have imagined. All the names linked to the loss of some sort of American innocence. All these names are linked to something so horrible that a nation came together in a brotherhood, for a short time. All names linked to 9/11.
Each name is an individual, a person, a life. Each name is a dream. Each name is a laugh. Each name is kiss. Each name is a good friend. Each name is a thread of life. Each name is somebody. Each name is an essence. Each name is a soul.
The names are etched in stone in the stone which makes up the memorial. Family members were making rubbings of their loved ones on the programs to carry with them to remember. An outline of the name to carry home with them. Something to remember, that's all they want. It means everything to remember that name. They say the name, pray the name. They write the name. But in the end, all they have left is a name.
In today's paper there was another list of names. It was a list of soldiers killed in Alabama since 9/11. That list of names keeps growing. Those names are on a killed-in-action list because someone thought those names on 9/11 were worth putting their name on a list.
We should remember all these names.