Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cause and effect ...

A local man, Michael, was killed when the North Tower of the World Trade Center, where he worked on the 105th floor, collapsed on September 11, 2001.

For the ten-year anniversary of 9/11, a monument in Michael’s memory was designed and built by an architect from his town, and was to stand somewhere in the section of the town cemetery dedicated to veterans. 

The architect wanted two things: granite of a certain grey color that to him signified somber respect, and granite that was quarried in America.

He searched for granite wherever it is architects search, and eventually found just the grey he’d envisioned. And it was quarried in America -- Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to be exact – a perfect and symbolic touch for a 9/11 monument.

It didn’t take long for those in charge of the 9/11 ceremony to pick the proper spot for Michael’s monument.  It was placed just behind the Iraq memorial … because the attack on the World Trade Center had spurred another man from this town, Shayne, to enlist in the Marines.

Shayne served in Iraq, where he was killed, in effect, because of the attack that killed Michael.

I don’t know why it is that these connections have stayed with me since September 11th, when I covered the 9/11 ceremony for the paper.  But I keep thinking about the links people share.

Sometimes, as with Michael and Shayne, the connection is tragic. But I’d like to think that more often good comes to others through the unseen threads that stretch from person to person.

Then there are the coincidental connections that tie up the ragged ends of loose threads in a more satisfactory way -- such as finding the perfect granite from a town that serves as a burial ground for passengers of United Airlines Flight 93.

This story, of course, begs for further examination of cause upon cause, decisions upon decisions, going way back that ended with these men, and so many others, in a cemetery.


"A hidden connection is stronger than an obvious one." ~Heraclitus

The rest of the story...