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2 San Diego Uptown News | September 16–29, 2011


9/11 thoughts, memories create opportunity for hope and healing

By Matthew Miller SDUN Reporter

Arguably one of the biggest dots on the timeline

of our lives, there is little debate that the short nu- merical phrase “9/11” has become a term signifying flashpoint memories. Whether waxing politically or pondering the spir-

itual element of such a catastrophic loss, community members verbalized their wide and varied opinions during the 10-year Anniversary of September 11, 2001 at the “Remembering 9-11-01” concert at Balboa Park’s Organ Pavilion. Organ Co-Curator Dale Sorenson kicked off the

event by announcing to the crowd of hundreds, “Our true memorial to September 11th is how we live our lives today.” Cortez Hill resident Ross Porter is the Executive

Administrator of the Spreckels Organ Society, the non-profit responsible for maintaining the organ in the Pavilion. In addition to discussing the momen- tous concert that brought community members to- gether, Porter expressed his own view of where this event has delivered us. “In the immediate aftermath, I hoped we would

pull together as a nation,” he said. “I think what we have seen is too much fear and rogue policy. I would like the country to think of the shared grieving not in terms of fear but in terms of hope.” As a consummate music enthusiast, Porter said

he hopes that ultimately we can all find a moment, such as those shared Sunday, that will make a dif- ference. “I hope it will give people the mental space they

need…” Porter said, “through the transformative possibility of music as opposed to words, which can be loaded.” As Marcela Mendez, lead singer for the local

band HoneyRock, launched into the third chorus of her favorite patriotic song, she let the tears flow in memory of loss and in celebrating life. Mendez explained that while singing the Dixie Chicks’s “Traveling Soldier,” she was thinking of

Dale Sorenson (standing) addresses the crowd as Organ- ist Robert Plimpton prepares to play at the Balboa Park Organ Pavilion. (Photo by Matthew Miller)

Mary Tillman, wife of ex-NFL football player turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who was killed in action in Afghanistan. “I was just thinking of her and countless other

women and how [their loved ones] never come home,” Mendez said. Mendez had particularly significant feelings Sun-

day due to special memories of a trip her family made to the Twin Towers when she was nine. “I remember I had my head against the glass from the top floor and looking down, and to think that it is now gone is tough,” she said. Though singing “Traveling Soldier” often

causes strong emotions for Mendez, she explained that Sunday’s performance and the memories as- sociated with it were mixed. “On the one hand all of the loss makes me mad,” she said, “but you just

see 9/11, page 5

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