Monday, September 11, 2017

September 11th

I had another post prepared for this blog today.  It was all set and ready to go. But somehow the fact that I was blogging on September 11th didn't register until I started to upload what I'd written.

 I'll save that post for later. September 11th doesn't seem like a day to talk about an upcoming book, or even a topic related to it.

This day means different things to different people. I recognize that. I see posts on social media reminding us that there are many other tragedies currently happening that we should keep our focus on. I see posts that get very political, because September 11th events eventually lead to wars that some Americans think were a poor choice. And I see posts that remind us of the innocent citizens of Iraq and Afghanistan who died as a result of those wars.

I understand that those other issues matter too. I do my best to support people currently affected by hurricanes, earthquakes and other recent tragedies. And of course war, and its innocent victims, wrenches my heart.

But for me, September 11th is not a day to get political.

For me, today is a day to remember innocent lives lost. To remember our fellow citizens, people just like you and me, who went to work and, instead of being allowed to fulfill all of their promise and potential in this world, became victims of terrorism. Today is a day where I can honor their lives, and deaths, by being especially grateful for all that I have. All the things I get to experience that were stolen from them. To hold my loved ones close, and tell them how much I care. To be aware of every breath, the butterfly that just flew by my window, the way my fingers feel on the keys of my laptop. To appreciate all the moments we get, however small.

And for me, today is a day to remember the heroes. So many of them, the people we've heard of and the heroes whose acts of bravery and compassion we'll never know. Every September 11th, I listen to a Bruce Springsteen song called Into the Fire. He wrote it with the heroic citizens and emergency responders in mind. The chorus, which he repeats over and over, is my September 11th prayer.  "May your strength give us strength, May your faith give us faith, May your hope give us hope, May your love give us love."

This song reminds me that those people who went so far above and beyond, at the Pentagon, at the World Trade Center, on Flight 93, who rushed into the fire, literally or figuratively, didn't just show us what heroism is. They also taught us how to live. When they rushed toward danger, knowing their own death was likely imminent, they embodied strength, faith, hope, love and courage. They gave us examples of how to rise up in the face of absolute terror and be our very best, most courageous selves.

Today I dedicate this blog to the victims and heroes of September 11th. May we be heroes in our own lives, however we can. May we remember to be grateful for all that we have. And may our nation never be faced with such a tragedy again.

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