Today America pauses in remembrance of those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.
It is so hard to believe 15 years have passed since that day which will forever be etched into our memories. A day which we will never forget, no matter how many years pass.
Last summer, I visited New York for the first time in my life. Before I left, I knew one stop I had to take was to the site of the World Trade Center, where the Twin Towers once stood, where Ground Zero has been transformed, where the Memorial fountains now cascade into the remains and where Freedom Tower extends strongly into the New York sky.
It was such a sobering, emotional experience. I stood at the edge of the north tower memorial and read the names. I said a prayer for peace.
Fifteen years ago I was just 2-3 weeks into my freshman year of high school. I didn’t even know what the Twin Towers were. I was in a computer class during the attacks, my first period of the day after homeroom. I was able to watch the news stories as they poured out onto the internet. I saw the images over and over. Over the next few days, my tv at home tried combing through the confusion and sorrow over all of the attacks that day in New York, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
None of it made sense. Even still we can’t make sense of it.
A few years ago I was on the Hawaiian Island, Oahu. During my visit, I went to the site of the Pearl Harbor attacks. I met men who survived and listened to their stories. I took a boat to the Memorial that sits over the USS Arizona. Our first day in Infamy…December 7, 1941. The tears, the death, the sadness. I prayed for peace that day too.
In the darkest of times, we find things to cling to. In our days of infamy, we saw many examples of unity, strength, resilience and hope when we needed it most. May our love continue to triumph over hate.