Those who remember Sept. 11, 2001, remember myriad details: It was a Tuesday. A stunningly beautiful day. The eerie quiet and empty sky in the mid-day hours that followed the collapsing buildings. The shock and disbelief. Frantic phone calls and emails. Debris. Tears. Hope. Dismay. Horror. Flags. Faith. Strength.
The anniversary of the terrorist attacks can bring back some very painful emotions and memories. But it can also be a time of healing and a time to acknowledge the life and world that has continued since then — changed, certainly, but lives and a world that have moved forward.
There are children in most of our lives today, even if they are just the ones we see on the playground or on a train, who have no memory of Sept. 11. And yet, it still means something to them. And that’s OK; that’s how it should be. It is a day that our country and the world can never and should never forget. We do not need to wallow in the misery of that extraordinary day, but we must acknowledge its magnitude and its profound effect on us all.
We must also pay tribute and remember those who lost their lives that day. Their world stopped forever that day; ours paused for that moment in time, then re-started in an entirely new direction, never to be the same again.
It’s worth pausing again every year to give that moment its due. But it’s also wise to do so in a way that lifts us all up.