15 years have past
since September 11, 2001,
but I can still remember the bluest, clearest sky,
and best weather on that day in Washington, DC.
We had moved back from New York City a few days earlier.
Having a blue sky in Jerusalem, Israel, is a given all summer,
no one moves to DC for the weather.
There was a good reason that foreign diplomats stationed in DC
received hazard pay in the days before air conditioning.
But it was so nice that morning,
I went for a walk as work was being done on our new kitchen.
The destruction of the twin towers of the WTC
and with its immense loss of life
has overshadowed the loss of life at
the Pentagon, the heart of the US military command.
For those of us living in the DC area,
the attack on the Pentagon affected our family and friends
in too many ways to recount here now.
The 15th anniversary of 9/11 was remembered in Israel.
Buses took passengers from Jerusalem on a round-about route,
under the new fast-train tracks under construction
towards the JNF-KKY Jerusalem Park,
slowly and cautiously down the winding road.
After an hour on the bus
we were on the other side of the tracks
and across from the cemetery on Har Hamenuchot.
Dignitaries and guests waited in the memorial plaza for the program to begin.
The names of all 2,996 victims are listed on the wall.
The only memorial outside of US to list all the names.
The honor guard in full dress
was positioned cleverly in front of the cool air blowers
and were protected by the sun shade.
What were the Marines thinking?
Israeli families of victims placed a floral memorial wreath
as did Israeli and international dignitaries.
US Ambassador Dan Shapiro stood in respect
after placing his wreath at the base of the memorial
fashioned in the design of a US flag shaped as a flame.
A piece from the Twin Towers is encased in the base,
and can be seen through the rectangular window above those wreaths.
After the official ceremony,
with all its impressive speeches this year,
flowers were provided to those who wished to place them
on the names in memory of those who lost their lives on 9 /11.
A delegation of 50 US police officers were in attendance.
Their hats and uniforms were imprinted with US and Israeli flags.
There was a positive feeling of unity
that is not felt often enough these days.
As WJC President Ronald Lauder said,
“The pain of loss never goes away,
but happiness comes from freedom,
and free people rise over hate.
More photos from ceremony