Edgartown: 15 years since 9/11


This past Sunday marked 15 years since the 9/11 attack on the United States. I’m truly amazed that so many years have passed and yet, the day and the weeks after it are still so fresh in my mind. I happened to be traveling with Amelia this year, and together we watched a slideshow of pictures from that day, before she was even born. I “made” her watch it, but she watched it willingly and when it ended, she said “That’s sad.” She’s right. It’s sad, even still. Riley is a patriot. His heroes are military figures and men and women of strong character who serve our country. He knows a great deal about this subject and similar subjects on his own, and aspires to honor them daily. He actually opens my eyes about a great deal, and has brought out more patriotism in me over the past few years. But I did express to Amelia the importance of 9/11. I told her it was the singular most devastating event I’ve ever seen. I told her of the kindness and support that I witnessed during and in the weeks and months following the attacks. And I told her that no matter where she is and what she is doing, regardless of whether or not it is a national holiday, she should always take at least a few moments every year on the anniversary and remember those who were lost on that fateful day. It is the least we can do each year.

My thoughts go out to the family of Bailey Norton, who passed away last week. I had the privilege of working for Bailey several years back and getting to know him a bit then. He was such a smart and kind man, with so much knowledge. It was wonderful to just sit and talk with him and learn from him. I’m saddened by the news of his passing.

There is a new exhibit at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum. “This Far by Faithexplores contemporary camp meetings across the southern United States, and juxtaposes them with the historic camp meetings that once occurred in Oak Bluffs. This traveling exhibition, designed by Professor Minuette Floyd of the University of South Carolina and sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, explores contemporary camp meetings across North and South Carolina. It is an interactive exhibition that describes Floyd’s journey to discover the camp-meeting tradition beginning as a young child attending camp meetings in North Carolina. Later as an adult, she returned to the tradition, and realized that the camp-meeting tradition had unique roots in various regions across the United States.

Minuette Floyd is an associate professor of art education and director of the Young Artist’s Workshop at the University of South Carolina School of Visual Art and Design. Her research interests focus on multicultural art education, interdisciplinary art instruction, and documentation of folk traditions. Floyd’s book, titled “A Place to Worship: African-American Camp Meetings in the Carolinas” will be published soon.

Happy birthday wishes go out to Kiana Casey, who amazingly turned 17 on Sept. 11, J.B. Blau, who celebrated on Sept. 13, and Linda Fritz Mixter Landwirth, who happens to be here on M.V. for her birthday on Sept. 15.

Congratulations to all who took part in the Vineyard Triathlon this weekend. Such an amazing feat to swim, bike, and run! Well done to all the athletes.

Have a great week, all. Remember that September we all shared 15 years ago. Let’s bring back the unity, kindness, generosity, and support that we all shared back then. We showed our best selves then. Fifteen years later? Maybe not so much. We need to unite again. Love one another. Put aside the animosity, name-calling, and fighting. It starts with one person at a time. Let’s make it happen!