Ten years ago
Ten years ago, I woke up late, threw on clothes, grabbed my books and ran to calculus. My professor informed the class a plane had crashed into a building. No details – no when, where or who. Given how terrible she was at explaining anything, my immediate thought was that she was mistaken – planes do not simply fly into buildings.
Ten years ago, I later made my way to history class and sat down next to my best friend Lauren. Class was canceled but no one left the room. News coverage was streamed through the projector and we sat in silence, learning of the surreal events that unfolded. At first, I felt only disbelief – how could this happen? How could this happen here? Then speechless shock.
Ten years ago, I realized that life is fragile and that evil is not a literary construct – it is real. I listened to stories of unbearable sadness and the nation’s heart broke for those who were lost.
Ten years ago, incredible acts of heroism surfaced. Out of the mangled debris of destruction, strength and grace bloomed.
Communities united to pour compassion over all touched by tragedy, to lift up the fallen and move forward.
Today, I remember those who lost their lives. Those who ran in with selfless bravery and did not come out. Those who had to learn how to live without their wife, husband, son, daughter, mother, father. Those who had to grieve and say good-bye. Those who, with gentle grace, reminded the world that you will go farther with love than hate.
Today is a day to remember what a gift this life is. A reminder not to waste it on complaints or frustration or laziness. A reminder that life is not the stress, the unwanted obligations, the chores.
It is all the moments in between.
It is love and joy and sadness and laughter and yes, pain, all jumbled up in this miraculous glorious package.
Get up – this day is yours, ours. Live it, share it, give thanks to God for it.
Today, I feel grateful – for my faith, for my family and for my freedom.
God Bless America. God bless our whole big beautiful world.