Thursday, September 11, 2008

Day for Remembrance

There will be no reviews or reports today. September 11th remains a day for remembrance and contemplation here. 2,996 lost their lives on this day, and several people I know could have easily joined their ranks if not for the grace of God or the intervention of fate.

It is important today to focus on the people murdered on that day. They are the ones we should keep in our thoughts, not the very real terrorists who committed the atrocity or the concocted bogeymen of conspiracy theorists. That is why D. Challenger Roe’s Project 2,996 was such an appropriate undertaking. Bloggers around the country each profiled one the fallen. Ronald E. Magnuson was profiled here. According to the NYT’sPortrait of Grief,” he was an avid golfer and a social, outgoing family man. His loss is surely still felt by his friends and family.

Also, the jazz community should also stop to remember one of its own: Betty Farmer, a jazz vocalist working for Cantor Fitzgerald. She started her singing career in the cradle of jazz, her hometown of New Orleans, and performed with Duke Ellington. According to the NYT, she was in the process of re-launching her performing career. Tragically, we will forever be denied the music she would have created.

It is worth mentioning in passing, if you watch or listen to the commemoration ceremony this morning, violinist Esther Noh will be one of the accompanists. In addition to classical, she also plays some very interesting experimental improvised music. It is nice to see her selected for what must be considered a high profile performance. Indeed, it is always a moving service that focuses one’s thoughts quite effectively.

Let us hope that the friends and family of Mr. Magnuson, Ms. Farmer, and the other 2,994 individuals killed on this day find a measure of comfort and solace on this anniversary.