I will never forget that day, 9/11- September 11, 2001. I was a middle school girl when I watched the towers fall. I now find myself a millennial mother of two toddlers who are innocent to the darkness of terror, yet find themselves having inherited the weight of the residual aftershocks of that day.
9/11, a day changed everything for us as a nation. Those of us that didn’t lose loved ones personally, lost a piece of our heart that we can never recover. We will never forget the sound of bodies hitting the glass as desperate Americans leapt from the towers to their death, the first responders bathing in their own blood, the mangled bodies being pulled from the rubble.
Immediately following that day we pulled together as a nation in a way we have not seen since. Then the disunity began to creep in. Since this day we have had 18 years of shootings, pain, and trauma. In many ways, we have allowed the darkness to creep into our bones and steal our hope. Everywhere you look, people are skeptical of one another. First responders are being shot in the streets.
How do we heal? We can never forget the pain or change what happened but we can choose to turn towards the light and break the cycle for our children. It is our duty to honor the sacrifice of those that lost their lives that day and we do this by becoming an agent of change for a unified future. Our greatest strength has always been our resilient spirit which comes from our collective strength. It is my hope that today you look back on that day and rather than focusing on the trauma, you remember the day as an example of our American grit. Our ability to withstand the very fires of hell to preserve the hope for a better tomorrow.