Cindi's 911 Reflections

by Cindi SutterFounder of The Spirited Table®'s 15 years later...what have we learned...what have we we really feel any safer? Sadly for me, on many levels, the last 15 years remind me of a blueprint for "how NOT to correct" the horrors of what began 15 years ago. 

Today I choose to appreciate the lessons and inspirations of 911 in 3 different ways. Life always provides us with choices; a veritable potpourri of wam-bang-smackdown experiences, that either provide a platform for our defeat, or a springboard to greater things. Our options are simple...we either allow them to negatively define us or use them as a reminder that goodness comes to us in the form of uniquely diverse seasons to savor. Yes, it's a choice. We've all made bad ones and hopefully along the way some spectacularly grand ones have blessed your lives.  

I'd like to start this 911 trio with my 2015 trip to NYC - National September 11th Museum. Secondly a friend and I recreate a 911 floral design for a Madeline Island church altar but most importantly, I recall the series of events and people that saved a friend's daughter, who is now the Mom of twin boys, thanks to *Rick Rescorla.

Thanks to Architectural Digest, I end with 11 amazingly spectacular 911 memorials; images that send a message of love, hope, charity, generosity, remembrance and freedom. 

My 2015 trip to the 911 museum; heartwarming, shockingly accurate, tearful, educational, maddening, and yet still hopeful. I am an admitted optimist and am always hopeful that tomorrow will be better than today. Maybe that's why I love a kaleidoscope of images that tell the story. 

Today I'm visiting friends on Madeline Island; and my friend Dawn and I shared a recollection of the first time we "accidentally" created our twin tower floral arrangements. No accident there, only a divine intervention moment we will never forget. (Yes, Madeline Island is really this pretty).

For part of the summer season, Dawn is responsible for creating floral arrangements for the church altar of the Madeline Island St. John's United Church of Christ. Five years ago Bob and I were staying with them on 911 Sunday, just like this weekend. Dawn and I kicked into floral design mode; gathering flowers from her garden, cutting hydrangeas from a friend's garden, and adding special touches wherever we could. Honestly we were so wrapped up in our "floral arranging" and having fun, we weren't really paying attention to the "date on the calendar". History, and I believe divine intervention, had a way of waking us up to the fact that our creations, placed on the altar of the church, were our personal tribute to the Twin Towers; even though we put them up the night before, with our partially blinded eyes. 

These global tributes to 911 shine a bright light on the impact that this act of violent terror shed on America. A global cry for freedom and an accountability for the terrorists who mistakingly thought this would break us. But then they never really knew us did they? Instead, it created a solidarity of spirit, support for those lives lost and their families, a united hatred for terrorists around the world and a love for our country that has done nothing but grow stronger. May the legacy of those who died that day live on...

Footnote on Cyril Richard Rescorla

*This man was Cyril Richard "Rick" Rescorla (May 27, 1939 – September 11, 2001) was a United States Army officer and private security officer of British origin who served with distinction in Northern Rhodesia as a member of the Northern Rhodesia Police (NRP) and as a commissioned officer in the Vietnam War, where he was a second lieutenant in the United States Army. As the director of security for the financial services firm Morgan Stanley at the World Trade Center, Rescorla anticipated attacks on the towers and implemented evacuation procedures credited with saving many lives. He died during the attacks of September 11, 2001, while leading evacuees from the South Tower.