As though in rhythm, I heard similar starts to stories today – I was at home in the kitchen… I was sitting in class… I was on my way to work… I was at the grocery store… I was at the gym… Nearly all of us remember where we were at and what we were doing on September 11th, 2001. Like so many others, I was at the gym just finishing a grueling workout when I heard the man on the treadmill next to me gasp and swear before bursting into tears. I looked at the television on the wall and it took more than a breath for me to realize what I was seeing. Planes crashing into the Twin Towers in New York City. In a flash, our world was different. It was affected. We were vulnerable. It was a devastating event that has been immortalized.
Ten years ago this morning, very bad people filled to the point of blackness with their joint hatred, decided to commit murder on a tremendous scale in the city I now call home. And sadly, they succeeded. It was a bleak time in America, and the ripple effect of those actions are still spinning outward. Rescuers are still falling ill from the after-effects of the debris. Survivors from the towers are still recovering physically and emotionally. People still died. HOWEVER. I believe the tide has turned and as we came upon the 10th anniversary of that despicable, cowardly act we have decided as a country to choose life instead of hate. Yes, it was a quiet day in the city. We were all a bit tentative. But as the names of the victims were read today at Ground Zero, and family and friends of those lost remembered their loved ones with tears in their eyes they continued saying the same thing: I love you. I will never forget you.
Countless stories were told of lives lost, but also of lives impacted. We remembered stories of heroic action, compassion and love for each other. And I couldn’t help but feel just a little bit victorious over the fact that instead of spreading hate, those terrorists spread love and hope. There is still so much rebuilding to be done, but we are on the move.
(Image via instacane)