anne_mikolay_120The sorrow of 9/11 is forever etched in our memories. As the eighth anniversary of that horrific day approaches, there is no need to recount the lives lost, the families destroyed; no need to revisit the time-line of the tragic event. Each September, we remember, and those who lost a loved one mourn anew. I will not offend these families by explaining where I was that day, or how I reacted; my reaction, and my loss, is absolutely nothing compared to their's. Suffice it to say that all of Middletown cried that day, some of us for our nation, some of us for personal loss.

Let me just say this: each September 11th, I wear a Remembrance Bracelet that bears the name of Stephen Fiorelli, a member of my extended family, who died in the Towers that day. I think of Stephen often, and on 9/11, I wear the bracelet, and I fly the American flag, in his memory. Stephen was one of the nicest people I have ever met. I have no doubt that the Heavens embrace him. The bracelet, and the flag, are a tangible prayer for Stephen, and for those who “went home” to God with him on 9/11/2001.

On the first anniversary of 9/11, Middletown was draped in red, white, and blue, but as the years have passed, fewer and fewer flags are evident each September. Yes, we must all put 9/11 behind us, in its proper place in our nation's history; families affected must “put it away” in order to move forward. But that doesn't mean that visible symbols of support are no longer needed. Just think of this: someone who lost a loved one on 9/11 might drive by your home. That person may be functioning amidst a cloud of sadness on the anniversary of 9/11, and the sight of the flag flying on your property will reveal your support. They will be comforted in knowing that Middletown, and all of America, has not forgotten.

Please, folks. Take the time to fly your flag this 9/11. You have no idea how much it will mean to a heart in need.

And to all those who lost a loved one in September, 2001, may God comfort and strengthen you this anniversary of 9/11, and always.