Eighteen years ago. Hard to believe. As the calendar pages fall to the ground year after year, it feels like another lifetime ago yet just like yesterday. Eighteen years ago today, our world’s were changed as we witnessed an unthinkable act and an unspeakable tragedy. I will never forget how crisp the early September air was that morning or how blue the sky was. I will never forget sitting in English class in 8th grade when we heard the initial reports. As the day went on, our reactions went from confusion to disbelief. At 13, the fact that such cruelty can exist in a world that you are just growing into is hard to comprehend. At first the TV’s were on but then they went silent. We were released slightly early that day and I remember walking into the living room and watching the TV in complete disbelief. This was not a movie or an act of make believe. This was real and every life, direct or indirectly, was impacted on that day.
We learned something that day. We learned that despite our differences, we could unite as one; that our resolve to be the better people and to be there for one another could lessen the sorrow that was suffered as a collective group. We discovered things as well. We lost many people, many heroes. We also discovered the spirit of human resiliency. We discovered heroes, from First Responders who selflessly gave their lives in the line of duty so that a fellow person could live and get to see their wife, husband, children that night. We discovered that heroes are not always those charged with saving others – we discovered that it is us. We discovered that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary measures to help a fellow person up. We discovered that our power – our love, strength, compassion and will – was greater than any evil force that tried to destroy us. We discovered who we are and who we are meant to be – a human force filled with compassion that has one heartbeat – a force that, when we realize it, can bring any evil force to its knees.
On this day, we honor those that we lost on that day. We also remember and honor all of those heroes that we discovered on that day. 9/11. Never forget.