Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering 9/11

I walked into my 7am high school Spanish class on September 11, 2001 and someone asked, "Did you hear?" Many more asked, "What happened?" The whole school was on edge even though we lived on the other side of the country. Teachers with radios had the news on. The nation was in shock and on high alert.

To be completely honest, I didn't know the gravity of 9/11 when it happened. I don't think many of my friends and peers did either. Like each other, our teenage worldview revolved pretty much around ourselves. What we did know was that three planes crashed: two into the Towers in New York and one in the Pentagon. We also knew that a lot of people were dead and more were dying.

National September 11 Memorial & Museum

But our worldview expanded significantly in the days, months, and years to follow. As the death toll rose and the news kept coming, I knew - we all knew - that a major change was coming, if it wasn't there already. I remember two sides of the same coin. There was a sense of loss and confusion. People wanted answers from everyone: God, the government, and each other. Why did this happen? How could God allow this? Who did it? Are we safe? Then there was a sense of unity as the nation did their best to pull together, support each other, and appreciate the civil servant heroes who have always been there for us.

Now, 11 years later, it's still hard not to cry for the lives lost and cut short through such senseless acts. And I am most reminded not to be impassive or jaded, but to live. George Herbert said, "Living well is the best revenge." We remember, but we also move forward.

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