It’s been 13 years — 156 months — 4,680 days since that day. THE day. I feel like the last 13 years has blown by in a whirlwind of Facebook posts and Starbucks soy lattes; hours and moments whizzing by at the speed of the internet. 13 YEARS.
But I digress. Now is not the time for existentialist woes.
Despite the growing time gap, I see that morning as clearly as my computer screen. It sits, perfectly preserved behind my eyelids. I can see the harried reporters trying to keep their composure; I can feel the eerie quiet that fell in public places; I can hear the error messages from overloaded phone lines.
Even more clearly, I see the days that followed. THE LOVE. The warmth and oneness. Out of the rubble emerged a sense of kindness and consideration I’m not sure we’ve seen since.
For one shining moment, we were a family.
Tragedies can do that. Despite the pain and loss, they can wake us up from the lulls of daily life; shake us from our complacency and open our eyes to the wonders of the world around us. They can bring us back to love. Love is where we come from, but sometimes we lose our way.
We lost a lot that day: precious lives, innocence, a piece of our identity as Americans. But as time drags us further away, it’s important to remember that we gained something, too. We were reminded, ever so fleetingly, that humans have an endless wellspring of goodness and kindness and love. We don’t need a tragedy to drink from it — it’s there, waiting for us in every moment.
In honor of 9/11, I hope we’ll all embrace that goodness. I hope we’ll throw our arms around each other; meet strangers as newfound friends; love with all the intensity we can muster.
We’re all in this together. That’s the legacy we should take away from that brutal September morning. <3