I had planned to share a post about recycling today, but on the anniversary of September 11th, it’s hard to focus on writing about much else.
The funny thing is that today was just a normal day filled with the regular activities of school and work – nothing out of the ordinary. And unlike last year (when I watched non-stop TV and cried almost the entire day), I didn’t really do much to commemorate the anniversary.
The thing that is remarkable to me is that this day was completely unremarkable. Back on this day in 2001, I didn’t think that would ever be the case. After the events of that day, I wasn’t sure if life would ever get back to any sense of normal again.
I remember watching TV while nursing my three-month old son. I looked down at his innocent face and thought “My God. What kind of world did I bring you into?” And I just started to sob, and sob, and sob. I felt so sad, so hopeless, so scared. I felt like life as I knew it would never be the same.
But then, something remarkable happened. In the days and weeks following that terrible day, we became united. We pulled together in a way that I have never seen before. We picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off, and started to rebuild…together.
All that working together – it actually worked. We did go back to work. We went back to school. We went back to life.
And my little baby is now an eleven-year-old boy with a normal, happy life. He feels safe and secure at home, at school, and traveling around this country. He has visited New York City and The Memorial Museum. Although he will never truly understand what that day meant to those who lived through it, he understands the kind of destruction that hate and intolerance can cause.
Which gives me hope for his generation, hope for his future, hope for the country.
President Obama said today during September 11th Observance Ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial “The true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division. It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.”
I truly hope that is the case. Although at times it does not feel like that, in the long run, I do believe that it will be. For me, September 11th is a day when we should focus on the UNITED part of the United States of America and look to see how we can strengthen that in our own lives and communities.
We will not ever (nor should we) agree – on things like religion, politics, or even which fast food restaurant we will frequent. But in spite of the disagreements, I hope that we still respect, still listen, still love.
We can focus on our common goals – healthy children; stable jobs; clean air and water; and a democracy that really does work by and for the people. I want all of these things for me, for you, but most of all for these two. They deserve it, and so do we.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
– Martin Luther King Jr.