I write this on the 10th anniversary of September 11th. There is immense media coverage today bringing us back to that day and the tremendous loss that we all felt. Everyone in country this suffered a loss that day. Many people suffered the deep and personal loss of their family members. The rest of us lost some illusion of safety, the notion of fairness, and the expectation of how life works. I think we can all agree that this country is different today than it was before September 11th, in both good and bad ways.
As I have watched the survivors’ families talk about their grief and their lives moving forward, I have been amazed at their resilience. It is only when tragedy strikes do we really know how resilient we shall be. Many of the families that have lost loved ones on September 11th have worked very hard to do something positive to honor their family member’s memory. I have seen books, camps, groups, and foundations all formed in the memory of a person lost. Those families that turned their loss into something positive were able to move forward in their lives without their grief, crippling them forever. It is a testament to them and their family members.
When I remember September 11th, what I want to remember are the positive things that came after. I think we can all remember the days after when people were just more caring and giving than the day before. I want to remember the ordinary people that did extraordinary things to help others. I want to remember the sense of community that seemed to draw us together as Americans.
I feel sad a lot of that has been lost. I see the country in a time where people’s fears make it easy to blame others for their misfortunes. I hope we can move forward in our lives with gratitude for what we have. I hope that we are letting those we love know how grateful we are for them. And I hope that as we look back we can remember what was possible and all try to make ourselves a little more caring, patient, and giving to others.