Coping with death is a very personal journey; we all experience it in our own way. Every one of us need a place of healing, though. Remembering is important for the deceased and survivors equally.
Nor, in truth, would the honours of men continue after death, if not their own spirits did not make us preserve a longer remembrance of them.
I was so immensely pleased to find that the Niagara Region had a 9/11 Memorial Walk. Hugging the beautiful shores of Lake Ontario in Port Weller, it’s the perfect spot to remember the fallen. The trees and benches are all donations in remembrance of 27 Canadians, including those with strong ties to Canada, who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
The 9/11 Memorial Walk is a charming walkway that winds behind the bird sanctuary at Happy Rolph’s. It is wheelchair accessible and very easy for kids to reach. Walking past the duck ponds to the path is quite soothing and interesting. A perfect spot for a family outing.
I’m purposely bringing up the tragic events of 9/11 NOT on the anniversary. I understand that society sets aside certain dates to remember and reflect, but I want to pull this out into the open on a regular day like any other. You see, survivors of the fallen deal with this on a regular, sometimes daily, basis. I want to recognize that.
My younger brother passed away in 2007 (at the tender age of 25). Being a couple years apart, we were best friends growing up and I never thought he’d go first. This has nothing to do with the events of 9/11 except that I want to convey how much I understand how it is to grieve. Not a day goes by that I don’t deal with the pain, even in some small way. It gets easier to manage but you are a different person forever and it never entirely goes away.
However intensely my brother’s death rocked my world, the family members of those who fell during 9/11 had it so intricately worse. There were so many lost, both in the buildings and the workers helping with the relief effort. The struggle to figure out who might be trapped, who was just missing in the city region and who was officially deceased is mind-jarring. The fact that they weren’t alone in their pain was a mixed bag. It’s hard to grieve but to have to go through that situation with countless others makes it frustrating to share but helpful to lean on each other.
A peaceful spot of remembrance in Niagara is an amazing thing to have for those who need it.
Life is difficult, it has sharp edges and pain is unavoidable. But life is fleeting, beautiful and ultimately worth fighting for. Each day humanity pushes further and further into a more complicated but magnificent world and I’ll be damned if I miss a second of it.
To visit the National September 11 Memorial & Museum online, please click here. They have a very detailed website, including how to approach this subject with children. I highly recommend going through their interactive timeline that incorporates audio recordings. Please check that out here.