- Posted February 21, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Your T-shirt tales
My “Memorial” T-Shirt
I have many T- shirts and I especially like the colorful ones with beautiful Hawaiian vistas. Some of which are truly my favorites, which I am wearing to shreds, but they usually end up at Goodwill or the Salvation Army. Then, many times, I regret giving them away, especially when I look through my travel photos. However, one T-shirt that I wore often after September 11, 2001 I could never give away. It became a kind of ‘memorial’ T-shirt. This shirt is a true keepsake that is very near to my heart. I lost dear friends in the horrific terrorist attacks in New York on 9/11. I remember it was a beautiful autumn day, because a friend, who worked in the Twin Towers, wrote me an email short before the first airplane hit, telling me about the beauty of a peaceful September morning high above the bustling City.
September 11, 2001 was an unimaginable tragedy not only for the relatives of the victims, but also for the entire world. I had just become a citizen of the US a year before, and I was in disbelief that my new homeland could be attacked in such an evil way. Short time later, I received this T-shirt from the mother of one of my friends who was so senselessly killed on that horrible day. She did not include a card or a letter; I just found the shirt in a small brown envelope. However, right away I knew that this T-shirt was telling me more than any word could tell me that time. Somehow, she wanted to comfort me as well. I understood that she wanted to tell me too that I should never forget the hurt we received on that heartbreaking day. This T-shirt also taught me that we should never give up on life’s difficult situations. I truly believe that every hardship which we master makes us stronger. But most importantly when we all come together, united in goodwill worldwide, then with our collective strength we can wipe out terror, eliminating meaningless wars and violence.
I will never give away this T-shirt, which has become my personal “sanctuary” for my pain. I have kept it for almost 12 years, and somehow, even though it is a reminder of a horrible tragedy and the loss of so many lives, it always gives me the strength to face the many hardships in life’s challenging moments. Today I went to the shoreline in Waikiki, in my beloved home in Hawaii, wearing this special T-shirt for the photo assignment. On the beach, I was surrounded by the soothing sound of the gentle waves and by the laughter of the kids who played in the white, silky sand. Then, in my mind’s eye, I recalled the laughter of my friends, the always so happy laughter which was so brutally silenced in that beautiful September morning for ever. But I know that they wish would be too that Peace would prevail around the Globe and then nobody have to be an innocent Victim anymore. Since my earliest youth and especially since that fateful day of September 11, 2001 I try to convince the World with all my literary work that wars and terror are the most horrible invention of mankind and it never solves any problems but just fuels further the chain reaction of hatred. Thank You: PuakeaJutka
Unfortunately I just had one paper copy of a photo wearing this T shirt in Switzerland 2002, but I could not find it.
Please visit my previous report from August 17, 2011 with the title “In Memory of 9/11! My dream.” It includes also the email I am referring to in this report. Thank you very much. http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-653288
This T- shirt design was created on September 20, 2001 with the goal to raise more than $2 million for the American Red Cross National Disaster Relief Fund.