Never Forget What Happened On 9/11

World Trade Center New York 2001

World Trade Center New York 2001 (Photo courtesy Loco Steve, Flickr)

The tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001 have been weighing heavily on my mind the past few days. I’ve been trying to think about what I could do or say to commemorate the event, to honor those that died. But this morning my fourth grade teacher, Pam Casteel, simply reminded us to truly be present today, to notice everything, and I thought that was a wonderful idea.

“Look into the eyes of those you love, speak kindly and smile to those you don’t know, and reach out to those in need,” she wrote this morning on Facebook. When I read that, it reminded me of everything we need to remember today, but more importantly why we need to do so.

As I mentioned at the onset, I’ve been thinking about this event for days, remembering friends lost, and how all of our lives changed that terrible day.

The pilots who crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the people backing them, tried to steal our freedom, crush our spirit, and mortify us as a nation. But out of the ashes arose courage and bravery, empathy and kindness. We sat by our television sets that day transfixed, horrified, grievous, furious and outraged.

What unfolded that day showed us the worst and best of humanity as New Yorkers embraced those displaced, searching for their loved ones, while the nation, and ultimately the world, offered their support.

Ms. Casteel’s words reminded me of what is truly important, and of the words now emblazoned on the wall of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York. There you’ll find a quote from Virgil that states, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time.”

I already know that none of us living that day will ever forget what happened, where we were when we heard the news, and how our global landscape changed in the aftermath of it. But let’s show we remember every moment of our lives, as we stand resolute and embrace every day, grateful to have it, optimistic for the chance it offers to prove we are still courageous, that our faith is intact, and that ultimately, no matter what someone else may do to us, we are compassionate people who choose to love our families, our friends, and our fellow man.

National September 11 Memorial and Museum - Credit Travis Wise, Flickr

National September 11 Memorial and Museum (Photo courtesy Travis Wise, Flickr)

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

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