Sunday, September 11, 2011

Arlington, Virginia 9-11-11

When you live less than a mile from the Pentagon, and a block away from a large hotel, any thoughts of a quiet day of reflection on September 11th are are to be forgotten.

GG and I don't watch  much TV but we knew the president would be in the neighborhood and we could expect road closings, motorcades, helicopters above and all dogs on leash.

What we didn't expect were the sights we saw while walking the dog.

A motley crew of former Marines on motorcycles were following a fire truck down the hill as we reached the corner. They reached the parking lot before we did and began a laborious process of tying, unfolding and adjusting a very large flag to the ladder of truck no.5. After the ladder was straightened and the flag flew high above our heads, one of them broke into a beautiful acapella rendition of The Star Spangled Banner.

The Lab lay panting and GG and I stood listening . 

We walked down the hill  and as we came to our corner we say the hotel parking lot was full of vans and bicycles and police officers in riding gear. They were trying to catch a little shade and enjoy a beer.

They were the Tour De Force, and they had just ridden 290 miles to honor the day and raise money for the families of officers who are killed in the line of duty.

One told us they give $5,000.00 to each family.  It may not seem like much, he said, but when you consider there are 50 or 60 officers killed every year, it adds up.

It seems like a lot to me.  

I just want to thank the people who show up and do their thing.  They probably won't make it on TV, but I don't think that's their motivation. 

I think they show up because they care.


  1. Jane and GG,

    Thank you so much for sharing this with us, it is so nice to see something that isn't caught on TV, it kind of feels like I am there. xo

  2. Over the pond, but remembering with you all. x

  3. This feels more authentic to me, too. Glad you caught it. thinking of you... and where you live. xoxo

  4. people like that just amaze me with their kindness. thank you for sharing jane.

  5. I love the unassuming hero...

    hugs to you both today. :)

  6. Thank you for your lovely post!

  7. The good side of America. Nothing commercial, no histrionics, no politics. People doing their job well. Thank you.

  8. Aw Jane,

    Tough, hard, sad day. Thank you for posting this.

    Your pictures of the flag are truly beautiful.

  9. Thank you for was such a difficult day...someone wrote "the good side of America"

    interesting..if there is in face "the bad side of America" we owe each and every person lost on Sept. 11th to change.

  10. Lovely and emotional post! thank you!


  11. I wonder what day we will choose to remember the tens of thousands of people who have been killed since our invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Those towers and planes were just the tip of a horrible iceberg.

    I am sad.