For many in our generation, 9/11/01 might be the single point of delineation, kind of how the Western world separates its history into the time before and after the birth of Jesus Christ. There was the world before the attacks, and the world we live in now.
Maybe it’s because I’m a New Yorker, who had close family members there that day (I’m thankful every day that all of them came home safely). Or the fact that for the past 10 years, at every gathering, party, conference, or get-together I’ve attended, the “9/11 conversation” inevitably seems to come up. Maybe it’s because this year, my 7-year-old son has been asking questions about the significance of that day. Or perhaps it’s the images I can never erase from my mind, like driving over the Verrazano bridge that evening once it was reopened, and just staring at the endless plumes of smoke. It was surreal. I can only imagine how magnified those images are for people who were physically there in the city that day, and for those who lost someone.
If nothing else, that day definitely changed a lot of people’s perspectives, including my own. On this 10th anniversary, I’m trying to take comfort in the many stories of hope and rebirth, survival and strength. Like this amazing video from this morning’s Today Show that takes us inside today’s Ground Zero… It’s a true testament to the American spirit, and I’m not embarrassed to say, it brought me to tears:
While the upcoming weekend will be full of remembrances, reunions, and reflections, I hope it also reignites that amazing passion and patriotism that swelled in the days immediately following 9/11.
For me personally, I hope it’ll remind me to be kinder, to not sweat the small stuff, and to stop putting off those dreams until next year. What will the 10th anniversary of 9/11 mean for you?