We can rebuild: A day of remembrance

Most of my posts are inspired by my personal experiences and the lessons I learn from them. While this is personal for me, this blog is about you, and everyone else in our country. Today is September 11, the tenth anniversary of the tragic attacks on our cities. Yes, it’s personal for me, because I had my own experience, but every person in this nation also had an experience of reacting to the unexpected horror of being attacked by man-made missiles full of human lives. In hindsight, there have been far worse tragedies and disasters in history, where many thousands or millions of lives were lost. But this was different. We chose to take personally, because it was an invasion of our space, it happened in our lifetime, and it affected us, in many ways.

Despite the words I am using, I have learned that ten years can heal a lot. While there are bitter memories, it is best to look positively on what we see as a bad situation. Yes, it was tragic. Yes, thousands of people lost their lives and even more lost loved ones. But we have a lot to be grateful for. Today is a day of remembrance. But our focus should not be only on remembering what we lost. We should also remember what we have gained, because that is what takes us forward, instead of getting stuck in the past. So what to we have to be thankful for? Here are a few:

  • It could have been much worse. Yes, two of the largest office building complexes in our country were attacked. But what if it had happened two hours later? The deaths might have been numbered in tens of thousands rather than less than 3,000. It is a blessing that the attacks happened while people were still commuting.
  • Our citizens found a reason to come together as a unified body for the first time in many decades. For a few days, at least, there were no political parties, no griping about the economy or taxes, no judgment about religion or race. We were truly Americans, united. We thought that moment would last forever, and it has. All we need to do is remember it from time to time.
  • We are safer and stronger. Does that mean there won’t be more terrorism? I doubt it, but we have learned to keep our eyes and ears open, and be more vigilant in identifying efforts to produce harm so that it might not happen.
  • Most importantly, we realized that we can survive just about anything. As bad as it was, we did¬†survive. A little bruised, but we survived. We have moved ahead. As we speak, a new tower rises 80 stories above the ruins in New York City, with 30+ more yet to be built. The Pentagon has been restored so beautifully that you can’t tell where the attack took place.

Is this a perfect world? No, it is not. It never was, and it probably never will be, nor should we expect it to be. It is that imperfection that helps us grow and learn every day. But that’s okay. The events of 9/11 remind us that we are here, we have found love in our hearts, and we are ever progressing toward a true spirit of brotherhood. Every challenge we encounter is a lesson that helps us to be wiser and stronger. There will be bumps along the way, but September 11 will always remind us of which direction we are trying to go. We remember it because it is fresh on our minds. Blessings to you and your family, and to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 or in any other tragedy in history. Ten years ago, we said, “We will rebuild,” and the results instantly began manifesting from that single thought. And look what we have to be thankful for.

And so it is.