I woke up this morning, went for a walk, grabbed a cup of coffee and proceeded with my day.
It was business as usual.
At 12:15 PM, I looked at the date and realized today was September 11th.
I went through my entire morning – there was no moment of silence and no reflection; truth be told, I forgot.
In just twelve short years, I didn’t remember.
The first year after 9/11, I stopped my day and engaged in prayer at every moment:
- At 8:46 AM – I remembered Flight 11 as it crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
- At 9:03 AM – I remembered Flight 175 as it crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center.
- At 9:37 AM: I remembered Flight 77 as it crashed into the western side of the Pentagon.
- At 10:03 AM – I remembered Flight 93 as it was crashed by its hijackers and passengers in Pennsylvania.
- At 9:58 AM– I remembered The South Tower of the World Trade Center as it collapsed.
- 10:28 AM – I remembered the North Tower of the World Trade Center as it collapsed.
- I sat and listened while they read every single name of every single victim.
The second year, I took a moment of silence at the times listed above, but I was a little too busy to be able to invest in the reading of the names.
The third year, I had to research the times that these tragic events took place…I could no longer remember.
My investment and tributes have changed through the years, but I have always held tight to the moments that changed our world forever.
Today, twelve years later, I forgot all together.
On September 11, 2001, we gathered as a world and we watched 2,977 people lose their lives.
We watched airplanes crash, people jump out of buildings, buildings collapse and people run for their lives.
We watched people come together, mourn together, console each other; this day brought the true face of humanity back to the surface again.
We watched the divide of our nation end and for one small moment, we became united as one – One United States of America.
The ripple effects on 9/11 continue. In our war on terror, we have lost nearly 7,000 additional men and women who gave their lives to protect this country; Moms, dads, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, friends – never to walk through the front door again.
As I woke up this morning, looking at today as just another day, I am humbly reminded by the true essence of this tragedy, and the impact it still has on so many of our families in this country.
I now take a moment of silence to remember those we lost, and those who continue to live with the loss each and every day. My children and I will head to the chapel and light a candle in its honor.
September 11th is a day that changed all of us. It was a day that haunts me to the core.
Time heals all wounds – for most of us.
Sometimes it is just easier to forget.
We must never forget.