Alex adopted me a number of years ago. He actually belonged to the neighbor on the east side of me, yet spent hours hanging
out with his kitty friends that lived with my neighbors to the west. He traveled through my yard going back and forth between
home and friends.

At that time I had been laid off at work and was spending more time in my home office and patio area. Alex began spending more and more time on one of my Adirondack chairs, during which we had great conversations. He is very vocal and expressive. He also started to follow me into the house. He was unbelievably well mannered. I set out a water bowl for him. I was also rather allergic to him.

An allergy prescription and a year later, I set out a food bowl. I still cannot keep Alex in the house overnight (swollen yucky eyes and congestion issues). Yet he knows that he is welcome to join his kitty friends next door in a comfy kitty igloo in the kitties’ house. It’s a perfect arrangement.

Monday, May 2, 2011

In Honor of

osama bin laden is DEAD!

I didn’t sleep well last night after watching the President’s announcement. My thoughts kept returning to that beautiful September morning in 2001 and associated events. During my troubled sleep, I remembered the morning of September 12th as staff gathered in the Senator’s office and observing the stress that was mirrored in each others’ faces; we had come to work that morning in a different world.

I had driven my usual route down the Rock Creek/Potomac Parkway and onto Independence Avenue; however nothing that I saw resembled anything near ‘the usual’. I could see the Pentagon - still burning. Streets in our nation’s capital were almost deserted. There were tanks/armored vehicles surrounding the Washington Monument and the streets near the White House were barricaded with armed sentinels standing guard. As I approached the underground parking area beneath the U.S. Senate building that I worked in, more barricades were in place with military guards and their canine companions. I was used to popping open the trunk of my car and having it searched while presenting my identification credentials but this day that search took place a block away from the parking entrance and with military police, sniffing dogs, and mirrors searching under my car. Even the familiar Capital Police members who were always on duty as I entered the building - had guns.

The Senator informed us that morning [later officially confirmed] “that were it not for the amazing people on Flight 93, we would not be here this day.”

So last night during my troubled sleep, my thoughts returned again to those wonderful brave individuals whose lives ended in a field in Pennsylvania and their dear families. In the nearly ten years that have passed, I think of them often and am forever grateful for their brave sacrifice.

My thoughts last night also reflected on a delightful young man from Boulder City [I had moved from Boulder City to D.C.]. He was my youngest daughter’s boyfriend. What a great kid! He grazed in my refrigerator and helped pack boxes for my move to Washington. He had attended the University of Nevada, Reno but decided to join the Army Ranger unit after his freshman year. His name – Matthew Commons.

After that fateful 2001 September morning, Matt’s Ranger unit was sent to Afghanistan. Cpl. Commons was killed on March 4th in the Predator drone filmed battle named Takur Ghar. On a beautiful March morning, exactly six months to the day after 9/11 Matt was buried in Arlington Cemetery with a twenty-one gun salute while a commemorative service/foundation block laying ceremony was taking place just across the way at the Pentagon. Comforting prayers offered at Matt’s gravesite where accompanied by a military band playing at the Pentagon.

On this day after the announcement of bin ladin’s death, I’ll acknowledge that a great evil has received justice. However, instead of celebrating his death, I will celebrate the lives of those on Flight 93 and dear brave Matt Commons.

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