AFD Central Station 9:00 AM
So another anniversary has come and gone. Well, gone if you mark the duration of the attack: Stunning in its savagery, unimaginable in the extent of damage inflicted in under two hours.
The 13th anniversary remembrance at AFD Central Station brings it all back, a ritualistic reinforcement of grief. The Chaplain's prayer, the ringing of the bell, police and fire personnel standing at attention and of course the heartrending bagpipes playing Amazing Grace.
AFD Central flag at half staff
My time in town center with one of the commemorative flags this year was perhaps the most unique out of the past 13 years. A homeless individual, one of Amherst's usual suspects, came over and was being a nuisance.
He started by pulling out a lighter and acting as though he was going to set my flag on fire, and followed up with nasty, loud "expletive deleted" that would have made President Nixon blush.
All of which is protected by the First Amendment (okay, maybe not burning my flag, but burning his own).
Thus it reaffirmed for me the unique power of that glorious rectangular cloth of red, white and blue. The freedom it so nobly represents, even though that freedom can be, at times, inconvenient.
After receiving four separate complaints from downtown businesses APD had a chat with my homeless friend