It’s hard for me to fully grasp that today marks twelve years since that fateful day that changed so much for we Americans. I remember exactly where I was that morning, a freshman in college, barely two weeks into the semester, driving to campus in my old beat up Ford Escort. It was like any other day. But then, in an instant, it wasn’t. It was like no day we had ever known. Suddenly the world seemed to shift, permanently altered in ways we couldn’t even understand at the time. More than a decade later I recognize how very true and real that turned out to be. I look at today’s generation of children and it shocks me to think that they’ve never known a world without war. They’ve never known a time where adults haven’t been talking along the peripheral of their little kid worlds about Iraq, Afghanistan and now Syria. Especially in our community, which houses one of the most prominent Army Infantry divisions in the country, we see a constant ebb and flow of soldiers and their families, coming and going. Most come back. Far too many do not. Every day they still feel the impact of what was lost on that day. Thinking back on 9/11 I continue to have a whole bunch of emotions that get tangled up together. Enough to write a book about, but I’ll spare you that much. Fear, anger, grief. But also, and most prevailingly, pride, hope and love. So today I choose to remember, but I also choose to be hopeful. I hope some day the kids of today do know a world without war, but I also hope that they continue to pledge to never forget.
To all of our fallen heroes and those still fighting for us today, thank you. To everyone lost on that day, to everyone who still feels that loss, my heart is with you.
[Photo from The Fresh Exchange.]