Fourteen years ago, we all woke up to a world that was very different, terrifying and uncertain. It was the day after Sept. 11, 2001. 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.
The pain and damage that Sept. 11 marks for our country, also marks a sense of rebirth and unity. It’s unfortunate that it took such a traumatic event to reunite our country, but with as much going on in the world as there is currently the time to come together is just as important now as it was then.