Isn’t it astonishing how fast time flies? I cannot wrap my brain around the fact that 10 years ago today marked one of the most horrific, senseless, and life- altering experiences ever to hit the U.S. How can one ever truly begin to quantify the tragedy of an event that personally and forever altered the lives of over 3000 people, their families, friends, and loved ones. The beautiful weather and clear blue sky that started off that day masked the deep, dark piercing flow of terror and hate that was about to envelope a nation. As a native New Yorker and citizen of the United States, watching bits and pieces of this event unfold before my eyes unraveled my sense of security, and for that moment, my peace of mind. It was surreal, frightening, and painful. The days that followed were equally as painful as the city was blanketed with hundreds of missing person posters. The faces of the father’s, mother’s, brothers, sisters and friends that were captured on each and every missing poster was almost too much to bear at times. Today as I sit and watch the live broadcast of the 9/11 Remembrance ceremony at the WTC, tears of sorrow and pain are streaming down my face. The reading of the names of those who lost their lives on that day always tugs at my heart. So many names, so many lives lost, so much pain and anguish on the faces of those reading the names and those in the audience. It is exceedingly overwhelming to take in the pain and grief behind each name that is read, but take it in we all must lest we become tempted to forget the events of that day.
In recent days, I’ve read several articles highlighting what people were doing 10 years ago on 9/11. Social media outlets such as Twitter have asked people to share what they remember about 9/11. Where were they, what do they remember, how did they feel. For me, what is crucial is not so much what one remembers about that day, but rather, what they have done since that day. Have they become agents of hope, love, joy and peace? Have they appreciated, and perhaps, tried to emulate the heroic spirit of that day in their own pockets of the universe? It is my sincere hope that the events of that day have propelled many to look inside themselves and to strive not to fall into the deep pit of hate and anger that paved the way to the utter destruction witnessed on that day.
My heart goes out to all the 9/11 families and a heartfelt sense of appreciation goes out to all of the brave men and women who died in their bid to save lives on that day, as well as to all of the service men and women who have died or have been injured in combat. To all of the service men and women still in the throes of combat, thank you for your service and may you return home soon.