“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “
- President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001
Words seem inadequate for a post such as this- a post that looks back a decade to one of the worst tragedies of the last few decades. Horror, grief, anger, confusion, fear, pain- the emotions were almost palpable in the hours and days that followed. On August 3, 2001 I stood looking at the World Trade Center. On September 11th, I couldn't believe that the place I had been was brutally attacked by terrorists. I couldn't believe the innocent life that was taken. I remember sitting in front of the TV for a solid week not doing anything else but trying to sort through everything that was going on- trying to sort through my own emotion. I remember the awkwardness of trying to pick up and continue forward in life. How does life go back to normal when something so abnormal and horrific has occurred? Looking back, I think about how much my life changed that day- the things that I lost, and the I wish I hadn't gained. Every time I fly, I realize how those moments impacted our country forever.
Every year on September 11th, I try to watch as many documentaries and read as many interviews as possible. My heart breaks, and many tears flow. What impresses me, however, is the strength and resiliency of humans. It is the sacrifice and love of the fellow man that really impresses me that day. From those on United Flight 93 who jumped into action to insure that more didn't lose their life, to those who gave their life to ensure that friends and strangers made it out alive, to the rescue workers who fought tirelessly for days trying to save anyone they could, to those families and friends who lost loved ones and have continued on in brave and courageous ways- that stands out to me. That's why I started out this post with the quote that I did. I believe it captures the two opposing memories of the day- tragedy and love/sacrifice.
Today I say an extra prayer for those who lost much that day- friends, parents, spouses, children, family, co-workers, and a sense of safety and security. May we never forget the tragedy, but also the love and sacrifice.