Sunflowers and Wind Chimes

T. H. McClung, she/her(s)
2 min readSep 12, 2021
Photo by Marko Blažević on Unsplash

Sacred Land is Sacred Land

Sunflowers and wind chimes. That is what you find if you visit the place where United Flight 93 crashed twenty years ago today. An artist built a tower that is 93 feet tall and holds 40 wind chimes representing the passengers and crew members who were silenced that day.

This place, someone’s field in Pennsylvania as well as the Pentagon and the site of the World Trade Center are important monuments for us in the United States now. They are, in essence, burial grounds. They have become sacred.

Here is how my mind works sometimes. As I saw the image of the tower of wind chimes surrounded by sunflowers and I thought about the artist who had the creative vision to honor the victims this way, I thought, “What if someone came in and tried to put an oil pipeline across that field?” Or, “What if someone mowed down all the sunflowers and paved it?”

We would go nuts! Most of us would absolutely believe that to be inappropriate and lacking in respect. And it would be. I don’t know why my brain works the way it does or why this is what I’ve been reflecting on today, but I saw images of indigenous people giving up their lives to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline planned to go right through their land at Standing Rock. The land, the water, is sacred. No less than any of our 9/11 memorials.

I don’t know how we get to a place where it all matters. We live in a world that tells us there isn’t enough money, care, or resources to go around. So, we fight to keep what we have as if sharing it will mean we have nothing.

This is just some “thinking out loud” and I’m certain it makes little sense to anyone reading it. On this day of solemn remembrance, I find myself remembering all that we have lost, not just twenty years ago. Maybe I will watch Come From Away again to get back into the mindset of also celebrating what we have found.

There are enough sunflowers and wind chimes for everybody.

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T. H. McClung, she/her(s)

In no particular order: Writer, pastor, Mama Bear, LGBTQ+ ally, wife, preacher, watcher of TV, seeker, mystic want-to-be