Everything Bremerton: More than just a memorial

A piece of history traveled into Silverdale on Sunday. It is a piece of history that became a living, breathing memorial for those who followed it on motorcycles and in cars across various sections of our great country. It became a memorial because of those who stood on overpasses, side roads and along fences to honor its passing with waves, flags, signs, smiles and tears.

To be a part of the 9/11 Memorial Ride was an honor and a moving experience for my husband Jason and I. We heard about the ride earlier in the weekend from friends that would also be riding and we ditched our set plans to instead travel up to North Bend Sunday morning. This was to be the last designated stop of the procession before the final destination in Silverdale.

For many people the events of 9/11 were mostly emotional. Located on the opposite side of the country from what was happening, our connection to those events, the questions that arose and the permanent scars that were left by it were mostly visual and internal in their nature. We clung daily to the outpouring of pictures, videos and articles that described and speculated on what had occurred and what might happen next. But just the edited stories, images, words and sounds were still not enough.

That is why two pieces of rusted, twisted metal are so powerful. They are the physical external proof of what really occurred. When you look at them, when you touch them, the realization of the forces that it took to shape them and contort them as they are now nearly knocks you off your feet. It hurts your heart. It reminds all of us, not just about the lives taken, but about the small amount of innocence we collectively lost as a people and a country that sunny September day.

The amount of respect, appreciation and passion that was shown as the truck and procession passed groups and lone individuals was not for the metal itself. It was for our American way of life. It was for the remembering and honoring of what was lost and the grateful thanks for the endless possibilities our existing freedoms and liberties bring to those of us who are still here every single day. We move forward showing honor and respect by grabbing onto these opportunities of the future as thoughtfully and as passionately as we grab on to the twisted rusted metal of our past.

Sept. 11, 2001, in our hearts forever.

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