This morning I stood on the sidewalk waiting for the bus. Don’t all good stories start like this? In some ways it was just another morning commute, but something was different. Maybe it was because I was the first one at the stop, or maybe because it was raining, but my view of the monument across the street was sharper this morning. It created a feeling of awe slightly different than it does on most other days.
As I stared at the monument from this morning’s unique viewpoint, I thought to myself how this monument stood there while my mother was growing up in this neighborhood. It was there when we drove to visit my grandparents to tell them that their son’s beloved daughter had been fatally injured in a freak volcanic accident. It was there when we drove to visit my grandma on Sundays after my father passed away.
And it hit me—why it is that we erect monuments to remember historic events, and put up tombstones at individuals’ graves. It is to say that just as this monument stands tall for hundreds of years to come, so too the memory and impact of our loved ones is eternal. Furthermore, the monument’s ability to stand tall throughout time is a message to us to continue to put one foot in front of the other when tragedy and loss hits. It is the message that we can and will survive and continue on strong and resilient. It is the message, that, just like the monument, G-d, as it were, is standing tall and continuing to be by our side, supporting and guiding us every step of the way.