It was September 11, 2001. I had just tucked my little one in to bed for the night and had settled in to our air-conditioned office for some focused language study. We had moved to Thailand just a few months before and I was working hard to learn a language with five tones and characters as foreign as hieroglyphics.
Then the phone rang.
We turned on our television and watched in stunned silence as buildings collapsed, planes fell from the sky, and the Pentagon burst in to flames. The world cracked open like an egg, and once scrambled, we knew it could never go back to the way it was.
For countless days after, we stayed glued to the television, our language school closed and embassy on high alert. We cried along with survivors as they told of the triumphs and tragedy of that day. We watched as the CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, Howard Lutnick, become so overcome with soul-deep grief at losing 658 employees, that it was palpable; his grief reaching through the tv screen and squeezing the very breath out of me.
And just like that, our world would never be the same.
I am reminded today, that our family is here because of what happened there.
We were moved to action. To follow through on a plan that was always THE plan but hadn’t been that day’s plan.
Spurred on to stand beside the men and women defending the memories of those lost that day, and every day since. To show and share the unconditional love of God to those serving in our Armed Forces.
That day did not defeat us. Out of the rubble and toxic fumes, a resolve rose up amongst the American people. What I remember most of that day, was not only the stories of loss, tragedy, and terrorism, but a story of hope, healing and uniting as one Nation. That day we saw the worst of humanity, and the best in each other.
For a brief moment in time, there were no sides. No lines dividing us as Americans. We were one, grieving and grasping at healing together.
We stood up for our neighbors and assisted strangers. We gave blood and money and time, without reservation. People poured in to New York City to help rescue and recover.
We heard stories of heroism and bravery, sacrifice and love.
May it not take a tragedy of such proportion to bring out the best in us yet again.
Today, as we remember, may we give the benefit of the doubt to our neighbor.
May we comfort those who mourn.
May we speak gently in to the lives of those around us.
May we generously pour out our resources for the good of others.
May we pray holding hands.
May we recognize the good in each other.
May we fully appreciate the freedoms we enjoy because of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our Nation.
May the world see our best today as it did that day!!!!