More breaking news showed a gaping hole in the side of the pentagon; another plane wrestled from the hands of terrorists and to the ground before it could reach its intended destination. We didn't go to school. My dad stayed home from work. Our day was filled with the buzz of silent panic, the horror repeated on the television for hours on end was our soundtrack.
In the moment we didn't know just how much the American landscape had changed. The New York skyline, missing those two, distinct buildings was just the beginning. We were unaware that the 2,996 collective deaths were just the beginning of a mentality that continues to scar us even now, twelve years later. Our history books had yet to be rewritten. We could not yet see the underbelly of terrified ignorance rearing up against Muslim Americans all over our country. We could not calculate the causalities of an impending war. The shoe bomber was not a household name. We had not yet been shocked and awed by the bombing of Baghdad. We didn't know that every year a great knot would grow in the stomach of every American as the date turned from September 10th to the 11th. We were unaware that we would hold our collective breaths, waiting for this day to pass without incident, each distant siren conjuring a twinge of adrenaline panic behind the breastbone of everyone within earshot.
As today turns into tomorrow, I pray that we can serve the legacies of those whose lives were unscrupulously stolen 12 years ago and the deaths subsequently lost in war. Today, I will reflect on the fragility and worth of human life. Not only domestically but abroad. I can only hope that we will someday learn to choose building each other up instead of tearing each other down. Some of our finest citizens were the first responders, many who lost life or limb to help people who were unable to help themselves. And in the celebration of their lives and respect for their deaths, I pray that...
...we learn from their actions and emulate them, instead of lashing out in hate with the intent to maim as the men who highjacked those airplanes did.
...we use our talents and our resources to assist those who need us most.
....we embrace diversity regardless of our race, religion, creed, gender, or sexual orientation.
...each of us takes a moment to reach out to another in kindness.
....those who lost someone in the carnage have people to hold them close and long on an anniversary
that is mourned rather than celebrated.
...we never forget the strength that comes from thousands of people working towards a collective goal.
...we will turn our attention to atrocities against humanity happening all over the world which are somehow allowed to continue unnoticed or unquestioned.
...we might finally learn to respect each other and seek peace.
...we recognize the beauty found in a willful flower reaching for the sun through a crack in the sidewalk, the tinkle of a child's laugh floating up on a cool fall morning, the tortilla chip scent of a puppy's paws, the rare mornings when we are allowed to wake without the force of an alarm clock, and that moment we find ourselves leaning over a cup of coffee with a dear friend who has stopped by unexpectedly.