Again Ridgefielders will gather to remember and honor the losses of Sept. 11, 2001. For many, another loss will weigh on their hearts. The 9/11 observances Tuesday evening follow fast upon this Friday’s services for the late Police Chief John Roche, who died Aug. 30, at age 62, after serving the town of Ridgefield for 38 years — the last decade as chief of police.
Among his many duties as chief was a role in Ridgefield’s 9/11 ceremonies, a part he played with modesty and dignity, each year placing a white rose on the monument of twisted steel by the river, across Route 35 from Fox Hill.
These are different things: the loss of thousands of lives as the result of terrorists’ aggression against our nation; and the loss of one good man, from natural causes, at a time that friends will mourn as too soon, too young — but after a rich, full life, and at an age that the great turning of time’s wheel will not judge as vastly out of place.
But these things are united, too. For life’s passing — it’s one undeniable certainty — rends the fragile fabric of human hearts as surely as it touches all human lives, leaving family and friends with emptiness and memories.
And Tuesday when Taps sound across the open field as evening falls, hearts will be touched with the mind-numbing tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001 — and sorrow for a more recent loss.