It’s September 11th, 2016. 15 years ago our country was the victim of a terrorist attack. We watched in horror, sadness, and disbelief as the Twin Towers of The World Trade Center fell to the ground. We watched in fear, for our country, as the Pentagon burned. And we marveled at the bravery of the hijack victims of one plane who fought the hijackers on their plane and crashed, most likely averting an attack on Washington DC.
We were angry, sad, and resolute to bring these terrorists and those responsible to justice. For weeks, months, and years, we held fast to the remembrance of those who fell on that day. We grieved with the survivors; we grieved with the families of those whose lives were lost on that day.
And then, slowly, we moved on.
We notice the date each year as it passes. But as each year does pass, the notice becomes less significant to us. Another day. We grow tired and fatigued of the media coverage. We forget the imagery that we saw. We even force ourselves not to view it. Not to remember it. There is too much to distract us. Life in the United States has moved on. If we had no direct connection to the victims of that fateful day then, we just have other more pressing concerns; that’s just the way it is.
But for those still “trapped” on that day–Still mourning, still grieving with a lack of closure–they cannot forget. They fight each day. They advocate for each other. They counsel each other. They erect memorials, they lobby our government, they create programs of “good works” to honor their dead, and they hope they instill into our consciousness a memory that we will not forget, nor fail to notice.
I do not forget this day, nor fail to notice. When that day happened, I watched on TV along with the millions of others. My connection was that I am an American citizen. That was it. Years later, while on a business trip, I met a man whose life was turned into chaos on that day. His wife was in one of the Towers. When it fell, his life fell into the same ruins.
He did not give up. He still grieves. But he has also been one of those people who counsels, advocates, and lobbies for the families, and victims of that tragic day. I see his wife’s name on the memorial and I know it is more than just a faceless name. It was-and is– a life with meaning. A life worth more than a passing yearly notice.
On this September 11th, I ask you to go to 9/11.Org. Donate $9.11. Read the resources, so that you might perform a good deed in the name or honor of one of the victims or survivors. Of particular interest this year at the organization is the recognition of the over 13,000 children that were born on September 11th, 2001. These children are banding together to make their birthday, not just a celebration of their birth or a black mark on our history. They are encouraging good works. They are becoming active citizens in our country. They are saying that Hope was also born on that day. Hope that is also worth remembering.
These are my thoughts on this day. I remember.
And now for your “Sunday Thoughts” for the day. May we all remember.
“Remember the hours after September 11th when we came together as one to answer the attack against our homeland. We drew strength when our firefighters ran upstairs and risked their lives so that others might live; when rescuers rushed into smoke and fire at the Pentagon; when the men and women of Flight 93 sacrificed themselves to save our nation’s Capitol; when flags were hanging from front porches all across America, and strangers became friends. It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.”
— John Kerry
Memorial Photo © By Charles Wolf