2020/09/11

It’s September 11th — 19 Years Later

Da Goddess @ 02:14

I have such a difficult time on this date. Despite having friends who have birthdays today, know people who celebrate wedding anniversaries today, etc., I just can’t get the knot in the pit of my stomach to ever fully go away.

All too easily, I recall the TV being on and the images of the most unbelievable event I’d ever seen flowing from that glowing box. It was unreal. It was horrifying. My heart wouldn’t stop pounding. I kept thinking about the people trapped in the Twin Towers, the people in the airplanes, the families, the people who were in the area. As much as I knew my life had changed in those hours, I knew theirs had changed even more drastically.

I wanted to throw up. I wanted to scream. I wanted to rain down vengeance upon whoever was responsible for such heinous acts. I also wanted to just wrap myself around my children and protect them from the ugliness and evil that man can inflict upon his fellow man.

Amidst the sorrow and anger, I also felt the power of community and the love most of us carry for our families, friends, neighbors, towns, state, and our country. I stood among the people in my neighborhood and, even though some of us were meeting for the first time, felt the warmth of their handshakes and embraces. We weren’t alone. We were in it together. There was so much more good in the world than bad. The proof was all around me.

But sadness and anger don’t go quietly or quickly. Not even when surrounded by love. They were there, yet we grieved as a group. We relied on one another for support: a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen, a hand to hold, and a desire to be better to each other and toward those we encountered in our lives. Mostly, that worked. It helped us through the darkest hours.

As the years have passed since September 11, 2001, we’ve lost much of that sense of love for one another. It’s as if we believe we no longer have need for it. But, of course, we need it now more than ever. We’re struggling to just stay alive these days, literally, in many cases. Lockdown, isolation, quarantine: signs of the times. Makes it harder to be there for others. But we find ways, don’t we? Food left on a doorstep for a neighbor. Phone calls. FaceTime, Skype, Zoom meetings, and many more ways to keep in touch with the people who are in need of some support. We mask up. We wash our hands and/or use hand sanitizer frequently to reduce the risk of spreading disease. We find ways.

And so. Here we are: 19 years after one of the most defining events in our lives, in the midst of another defining event. Let’s remember what happened and apply the lessons we learned then to what we’re going through now. Let’s be good and kind to the people we encounter. Let’s remember how quickly they can be taken from us, whether by acts of terrorism, violence, or disease. Let’s be better versions of ourselves and encourage others to do the same. Lead by example.

Let’s also take a few minutes to remember the losses on that day and in the days since. Let’s remember who we were and who we are deep in our hearts.

Never forget.

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