Today is September 11, 2013.
Twelve years ago today, something happened that would change history.
We were attacked.
Let me make something perfectly clear:
The Twin Towers were not attacked.
The city of New York was not attacked.
The state of New York was not attacked.
The Pentagon was not attacked.
Not even the USA was attacked.
What was attacked was:
While it was our great country and the great state of New York (as well as Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.) that was attacked physically - Osama bin Laden and the Al Queda attacked something much bigger than ourselves. That day was a blatant attack on all the values we should be striving for in this world.
They attacked our hope for a better world.
I continue to hope.
They attacked our faith because they thought theirs was right, and ours was wrong.
I still have faith.
They attacked acceptance of other races, religions, and nations.
I still strive for acceptance.
They attacked the idea of "World Peace" with four jet-sized bullets.
I still want World Peace.
They attacked humanity by throwing away human life for their pride.
I still believe humanity will prevail.
On days like 9/11 it's hard to see the good, but good can always be found. Twelve years ago, when tragedy struck, our nation came together like never before. We really were the UNITED States of America on that tragic day. That day will be etched in my memory forever. I was in the sixth grade. I walked to school that morning. When I walked in my homeroom, I was confused because the TV was on. Usually the TV was only on for the school news and that didn't happen till later in the day. I asked the first person I saw what was going on. A boy named Dallas said, "That plane just crashed into that building!" He didn't seem sad or scared. I think he sounded impressed, like it was some cool action movie. I don't blame him. Neither he, nor I, nor many of my classmates (I assume) really understood what was happening. I was more confused than anything. I'm sure the only one in that room who really got it and was horrified by the images flickering across the screen was my homeroom teacher, Ms. Eisler. I don't remember this now, but based on the timing of the attacks, I'm guessing my class watched as the second tower was struck. After that, I don't remember much. I don't remember what we did in each class, but I'm pretty sure the TV's were on in every classroom, all day long. I'm pretty sure I went home and my parents and I sat and watched the news that evening. They probably explained to me what was going on. I probably cried.
I was not directly affected by the events on that day like other were. I didn't know any of the victims and I'd never even been to New York, but that day affected everyone in this country as well as many across the world. The events of that day still bring a lump to my throat twelve years later, as well it should. Many people like to argue about the repercussions of 9/11 and the war and violence that followed. I don't care about any of that. The events of that day were a tragedy regardless of what happened afterward, which is why I choose to never forget. I choose to remember the victims that day and what they must have suffered through before their untimely death. I choose to pray for a better world where there is no hate, only love for every other human being on this planet. Even the terrible ones! I believe love is the one thing that will conquer every bad thing in this world.
On Saturday night we went to a concert up at Weber State University. The concert was "A Night with Audra McDonald" who is a big Broadway star. She sang many beautiful songs that evening, but one in particular really stuck out. It is from a new musical called Ordinary Days and as she sung it our faces began to mirror each other as tear after tear streamed down both of our faces. After the song was over we both had to take a moment to wipe away the evidence of the pain that song caused us as, as well as (I'm assuming) many other audience members. I sat in the front row and I saw every tear she shed. I hope you will take a moment and listen to the song below.
I hope you will take a moment today to remember - to pray for their victims and their families. Because even though twelve years have past. The pain still hurts like it happened yesterday. I hope you choose to never forget.