September 11th, 2014. It is thirteen years since a quiet morning was shattered as the news began to pick up on a story so unbelievable none of us were sure what we were seeing. It wasn’t until the second tower was struck that everything changed. The way we see the world. The way the world see us. And how we see each other. 9-11 is a open wound that will never fully heal, much like Columbine is for Littleton. We are faced with tragedy in life not because we deserve it but because life is never fair, even in its greatest triumphs. When you were born has given you perspectives over the last one hundred years on how disaster and terror can occur. If you were alive on December 7th, 1941 - you will surely remember that day and the years that followed. When John F. Kennedy was taken from us - those that were living can recite where, when and how.
I will never forget where I was on September 11th, 2001. I will never forget the emotions, the fear, the terror and disbelief as fires in New York City, The Pentagon and a small field in Shanksville, PA burned dark smoke into the sky.
I will not forget the images we watched. I will not forget the heroics of crew and passengers that prevented United Flight 93 from reaching the intended target. I will not forget The Falling Man - a stark image of someone jumping from a fate of fire and death. I refuse to edit out the sounds of victims falling to the earth that echo through the on site videos of that day. It is raw. It is painful. And it is unpleasant.
History is filled with defining moments in the face of terror. I believe we stood tall after that day. It took us a moment to catch the breath that had been taken from us and another moment to put our feet back beneath us. We stood to wipe the blood from the deep and battered attacks at our hearts and minds.
When you walk through a day like 9-11 it’s important to remember. And not just once a day and call it good. And don’t spend all those moments on one thing. Take the time to mourn the lost. To cherish the heroes that rushed into the fires. To honor those that died trying to save someone.
I’ll close this post out with the one video that gives my heart sadness and cheers at the same time - and it’s a story that wasn’t really told until 2011. Narrated by none other than Tom Hanks - it deserves your attention.
Never forget. Always remember.