Reflecting on 9/11
Reflecting on that horrific day in 2001, thoughts first come to all those lives that were abruptly ended and those that were changed forever. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters...unaware in the early hours of that September day of how our nation, and the world, would be changed forever. Millions stood in awe and disbelief at such a travesty, wondering what sort of insanity could spawn such vile acts.
In those early days, the response across our country made us all proud to be American. Flags unfurled in windows, on vehicles, on posts large and small on homes and business...not just in our country, but across the globe. For a time it seemed as though the world was united in grief and in pride for these United States of America.
This morning I watched remembrances from that day, honoring the fallen, prayers for their loved ones, and reaffirmations that those who were lost will long be remembered. Yet what so strikes me now is that we yet have so much to learn as a nation. We cherish our freedoms...yet we stand idle while many abuse their privileges by promoting hate and intolerance, even of our very own citizens. We are a nation of immigrants...coming from all parts of the globe, speaking multitudes of languages, abiding many faiths, loving as our hearts lead us. It's our diversity that has made us strong. We all stood together on that horrific day, we mourned together, we prayed together, and we pledged together that we would fight the ignorance and hatred that gave birth to such an evil deed. Where has that determination gone? What happened to that "united" nation? We had so much to be proud of on that day...so much for which to be grateful. We still do...this is not the time to let intolerance and bigotry and greed and narcissism distract us from who we really are...the best we are meant to be!
To me, "we will never forget" doesn't just mean remembering the fallen (and of course we must!). It also means remembering who we were those early days of September...our very best selves. It means remembering the selfless courage of those brave souls that risked their all to help total strangers. And we cannot forget it also means remembering the evil that comes from hatred, greed, self-righteousness, and intolerance. It means we must look into the proverbial mirror to be sure we are in fact honoring those heroes of 9/11 by our words and by our actions.
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