I just heard the first siren of the day. I don’t know if it is because we live near Main Street in our town, but I hear a lot of sirens throughout the day. So many that I tend not to notice them so much anymore, unless the dog howls or my children are out and about, away from home or school.
But I notice this morning. I hear. I remember.
This morning, the sound of sirens does not blend into the harmony of my day. Today, those sirens ring louder.
I was at home with my five and two year olds on this morning 12 years ago. We lived in Kentucky on an acre in the country. I rarely heard sirens then.
I never watched television during the day and would not have known what happened if my husband had not called me from work telling me to turn on the news.
I don’t really remember the rest of that day. I’m sure I changed diapers and fed children and settled arguments. I’m sure I cried for the people who would no longer get to perform those tasks.
I remember, in the coverage that followed, the people who were holding printed photos of their loved ones – hanging them on chain-linked fences and concrete walls. I remember their pained faces and pleading eyes.
I remember the images of the heroes running into the buildings, the heroes helping the injured, the heroes trying to maintain order during chaos. I remember thinking, in the days that followed, that there are so many more good people in this world than there are bad.
Today and tomorrow and all of the days that follow, when I hear sirens, I do not want them to blend into the sounds that surround me. I want to take notice. I want to send healing thoughts towards their destination. I want to send gratitude and strength to the good people bringing relief and aide to those in duress.
I want to live life aware.
It is the least I can do.