Sunday, September 11, 2011

Seabiscuit, 9-11-01

This seemed an appropriate cross-post from Writing in Books for this blog. Found in a used book at a resale shop earlier this year and saved for today.

A copy of Seabiscuit (Random House, 2001), by Laura Hillenbrand. A simple gift inscription from a father to his daughter on September 11, 2001:  

Dear Bethany, I hope you enjoy this (I did). Love, Dad.

Next to the inscription, the father created a tiny memorial of sorts to mark the day for his daughter: a small American flag affixed to the page by a 34-cent US postage stamp that depicts the Statue of Liberty. A caption underneath states simply "9-11-01."

Various scenarios come to mind about why this book was presented on 9-11-01 and why it wound up in a resale shop where I found it and thought it worth saving. Scenarios come forth for each, but I'll just let the moment of the gift resonate here--the father's gift to his daughter, a book and a simple, poignant observance of the tragedy that befell a nation ten years ago today.

That day will never be forgotten in the lifetimes of those old enough to have had it indelibly imprinted into their memories. Many memorials and observances, in various forms, were erected that day. Even in a gift book, whose story of inspiration, hope, and renewal may have reflected the needs of the gift's recipient as well as those of the gift giver and an entire nation.