Eleven years seem like a long time. I remember being 11, and thinking I had been on the earth for centuries. Now, at 28, 11 doesn’t seem so long. Especially the past 11 years, which seem to have flown by.
In what is now becoming a tradition, my family and I went down to Ground Zero last Friday to pay our respects to those fallen in the September 11, 2001 attacks. And like every time, there were tears, and there were hugs, and there were the whispers of everyone around, because Ground Zero is the only place in New York that’s quiet. It’s a place of deep reverence. It’s a church, in the wind.
Now that I live in New York, I feel honored to be able to visit Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial whenever I want. I find it to be a constant reminder of all that is bad in the world, but also all that is good. To me, it’s a reminder of the firefighters who put the fate of other people before their own. It’s a reminder of those that immediately went to work on search and rescue. It’s a reminder of all the donations, the giving of blood, the rallying of troops.
But it’s also a constant reminder that we are the one’s who have been left behind. All of us. Every single person on this earth. And while we must mourn the people who have left this world too soon, we’ve been given the ultimate responsibility of picking up the pieces and putting them back together. We’re the ones who have been asked to carry on.
So on this anniversary, lets us honor the past and look toward the future. What kind of legacy are we going to make for the people who lost everything in those two towers, in the Pentagon, in Shankesville, Pennsylvania? We’re at a point in time when we can decide what the world will eventually look like. Let’s make it something they would be proud of.