Thursday, September 11, 2014

Part II: Gone But Not Forgotten

With the day drawing to a close, 
it was time for honoring those lost on September 11, 2001.
It was a normal day in Northern Indiana which means it was cold, dreary and overcast, yet we rode on. We rode with purpose. It was with loved ones on our minds that we set out on our journey. As we are blessed to have a piece of the World Trade Center here in our home town, it was the memory of the fallen that drew us there. Leading the way was Andrew. Under his feet, the Bianchi that once belonged to Jay Corcoran

A large crowd came along for the ride celebrating the day two-fold; celebrating the lives of those lost, and celebrating the birthday of a friend. 
So as dreary a day as it was, it was indeed a day of celebration.  

When we arrived we were greeted by a thicket of trees leading up to the memorial itself.
Prominently displayed under an artist's welded sculpture and a flag at half mast, was a piece of the fallen WTC. 

A fitting reminder of what it looked like at Ground Zero when the dust finally settled, the plaque describes the artist's vision in creating the piece.

While we considered the gravity of the situation and reflected upon the symbolic nature of the subject matter, it felt only fitting to park Jay's bike right under the wreath of flowers and against the twisted I-beam that was once part of a magnificent sky scraper that outlined the New York City skyline.

In a small way, it felt nice to reunite Jay's bike with the memory of the man himself.

It felt even better to see Andrew pay tribute to his friend. 

...and if I can bike dork on you for a moment, it is worth mentioning here that Andrew, a man much younger than I, is used to riding Aluminum and Carbon bikes, so I had to ask him, "how does it ride?" With a smile, he said, "it's really smooth." Yes, the ride was smooth but it was not without the typical mechanical issues that one finds during a "shake down" ride. However, it was a ride that no amount of weather, no amount of difficulty could dampen. It was a day to remember.

In closing: This day is now gone. Once again, the days, weeks, and months to follow will but for a moment ease the pain we all once felt as the event is pushed further from the forefront of our minds. In time, the next anniversary will come around. We will once again dust off the horrible and often haunting memories that come with the mere thought of what happened 13 years ago. In the mean time, let us simply try to embrace each new day as one that we can never have back. Let us remember that we are fortunate enough to have come home to our families that day when others were not so fortunate.

  Let us always remember,

...and Never Forget.