Playhouse to Remember 9-11

By on 22 August, 2011 in Greg Thornton with 0 Comments

Unless someone like you cares a whole, awful lot. Things aren’t going to get better, they’re NOT!
– Dr. Seuss, The Lorax

As of two days ago, there were over 100 people listed in the volunteer data base of the Cloverdale Playhouse. And there are quite a few more who have stopped by to offer their help in any number of ways. There is no doubt the list will continue to grow. And we haven’t even opened yet. There are going to be many opportunities in many different areas of the operation, and people are eager and ready and we are hugely grateful. It speaks to the large heart of the folks in our community. This is not surprising, but serves an ever-present reminder that the spirit which builds community and reaches with a hand to grab a shovel, to haul a load to a warehouse, to paint a ceiling, to do the hundreds of unnoticed acts of generosity and service and compassion is always there.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is not an easy time for a lot of people. The challenges that face us economically, socially, educationally,  and in ways perhaps unseen as of yet, could easily drive us to hunker down and close our doors and isolate ourselves in the hope that maybe this will all just go away as a worrisome storm might pass in the night. The cynic might venture that this is the way of the world, but it has not been our experience at the Playhouse as we forge ahead with our plans. Folks are on the street, poking their heads in the door, checking us out and offering their help.

We are finding our way into the community in a number of ways, and there is a very significant event coming up in which we are privileged to be a participant and which offers us a chance to give something back. The HandsOn River Region, a program of the Volunteer and Information Center, is organizing a weekend of programs to honor those who serve and to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the events of September 11, 2001.

Army Medal of Honor - Photo by Library of Congress

There will be many projects going on throughout the weekend beginning Friday, September 9. The Cloverdale Playhouse project, HEROES AMONG US, will take place as part of the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance sponsored by the City of Montgomery and HandsOn River Region. We will be at the Union Station Train Shed from 1:30-4:30PM on that Sunday, sharing stories and poems and other writings commemorating those who served and sacrificed on that day in September 10 years ago. We hope to gather the families of police officers, firefighters, EMA and military personnel to listen to these stories and then to sit with volunteers and write their own stories about the heroes in their lives. Of course, all are welcome and encouraged to join in this.

If what is most important is to share the gift we have been given — to add, as Tolstoy wrote, our light to the greater light — then we are bound and privileged to be a part of this important event. As the stories of the heroes who served and sacrificed on that most difficult day in our lives come across my computer screen or in the mail or from a found news article, I cannot help but wonder how many more of these stories will be written by the children of our community as they witness the service around them and reflect on the hands that gave them a lift when the chance presented itself or maybe when they weren’t even looking.

Greg Thornton is the Artistic Director of the Cloverdale Playhouse.

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