I’ve been seeing lots of pictures and links with captions like, “Never forget” for the past few days on Facebook. Along with questions of, why isn’t 9/11 a national holiday. Ten years later and the most I hear about 9/11 is once a year. Just like all the other holidays. It’s a shame.
Yes, what happened that morning ten years ago as I sat in a hotel conference room upon hearing the news was a tragedy. The total lives lost is still incomprehensible to me. Especially since the majority of the lives were civilians. The fact that emergency responders ran towards the towers as others ran from them is a testament to the heroism of those responders. And not just on 9/11, but every day they go to work. How many of us can say we’d rush into the fray like that? You might say, “But that’s their job.” Yes, it is their job, but it’s also their heart. It takes special people to go into public service like that. Police. Fire. Emergency medicine. Military. Everyone I talk to and know in those jobs has a heart for what they do. It’s about putting others first.
My job at the time wasn’t quite the same, but it was one that you have to have a heart for it to be good at it. Putting someone else’s needs in front of your own in order to help them grow. It wasn’t long before I was sitting down with a few of my co-workers to come up with an educational response for the kids. Unfortunately, slurs and stereotypes started getting thrown around very quickly out of fear and out of not understanding. It was the same reaction people outside of work were having.
I feel things rather deeply. Once the news of United Flight 93 was released and I sat there just thinking about the courage for all those people to collectively decide that they are not going to go down without a fight, I started to cry. And cry. And cry. For weeks, any time United 93 was mentioned, I cried. I mean, how many of us would have done the same thing if we had been on a plane, train, or automobile that was hijacked?
Ten years later, Hussein and bin Laden are dead. We are closer to having two new towers rebuilt in the New York skyline. Are we any better? Do we show our public servants and military any more respect than we used to? Quite frankly, they deserve it and more. Do we continue to hate on entire groups of people because of the actions of a few?
Ten years later I try to love more, hate less, and act instead of react. No, I can never forget and I don’t need a reminder not to forget. Every time I do yoga, I am reminded of 9/11.
Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world.” So go. Be the change. I dare you.
(Since I couldn’t scan some NYC pics from my trip back in ’93, I’m adding these videos friends shared with me after I first posted)