Remembering September 11, Then and Now
September 11 is one of those iconic events that every American remembers differently depending on the circumstances of their life.
I was still reeling from the death of my own husband two years earlier from cancer, and now I was witnessing another community of people being thrown into grief, this time not from a relentless illness, but from an unspeakable act of violence. To know that these people were entering the depths of despair from an act of conscious will was unthinkable to me, then and still now.
But at the time the shock was too great to ask why or how or what is the meaning. Those questions didn't matter. We were all living together the human experience of lives cut short way too soon and the raw pain of death and loss and grief.
Now we are ten years removed from that awful day. No grief ever leaves completely, it becomes part of the experience with which we create our lives, and our outlook, and our hopes and dreams. Every American has incorporated this into their own personal history in a unique way.
For me, I choose to live in a society that honors those we have lost, and comforts those who suffer, and welcomes those who were once strangers but now are cherished friends. We are now touched by the reality of war, some of us with losses deeply personal, others from being in community with those who grieve. How even more urgent is the need to work for peace, to cherish diversity, to establish bonds of understanding and friendship with people in our neighborhood and across the world.
May this day of grief become a day of consolation and may we work with heart and soul to remove the scourge of war from our globe.