Friday September 9th, on a whim I went to the Tempe Center for the Arts. It just so happened that it was 9:30am and they opened at 10am, so I walked around the lake. I was enjoying the cloudy and windy weather, watching the birds and taking photos of our man made lake. As I started was walking, I saw a lot of American flags in the distance and was drawn to them. As I walked closer, I saw that there were hundreds of flags blowing in the wind and it was quite a sight. I discovered that this was the Healing Field honoring the nearly 3,000 victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks presented by the Valley of the Sun Exchange Clubs Foundation and the City of Tempe.
As I walked around I could not hold back my emotions and I began to think about our freedom and tragedy of the men, women and children that were killed in the attacks.
Once the wind stopped blowing and the clouds dissipated, it began to get hot, and I worried about being in the sun since I did not apply sunscreen that day, so I started walking back to the Center. Along my walk, I started thinking about the rest of my day, and my training for the Beads of Courage ride to Tucson. I began to dread the heat and started thinking of blowing off my training ride, but then I began thinking about freedom and the lack of freedom that the children fighting cancer and other childhood diseases have. They are tethered to their beads in hospitals, on medications that may be saving their lives, but make it impossible for the kids to be kids, to play, to run, to ride, to be free.
So, I came home early, got on my bike and rode my training ride, thinking of those kids the whole way, and grateful for my freedom.