After having taken red-eye flights from San Diego to Norwalk, VA, where I crawled into a hotel bed just after 7 a.m., I was awakened with an alarming phone call a few hours later: “Turn on your TV!” I still recall the surreal footage on the Today show, as the World Trade Center’s twins crumbled, claiming hundreds of innocent lives. The future would never be the same, beginning with how we got through the rest of that September 11th, 12 years ago.
For most, we all wanted to be home, our cocoon of safety. Yet, thousands were stranded elsewhere as the terrorist acts forced air travel to cease. Luckily, I still had my rental car which I’d gotten earlier that day from the airport. Three other co-workers and I decided to drive back that night to Atlanta, where I was living at the time. Taking turns behind the wheel, silence commanded the sedan, as each passenger reflected on the day’s tragedy. With only a dimly-lit dashboard and National Public Radio (NPR) to keep us company, we made our way across virtually empty highways. Just as the sunrise started to greet the new day, I was at the front door of my home. Tired. Sad. Grateful.
The days that followed, we all witnessed some of the most undivided acts of human kindness our country has ever experienced. There was unity. There was respect. There was love. During that period, we, as a nation, came together to honor the lives lost and to rebuild our own shattered existences.
As we turn our thoughts to the twelfth year anniversary of 9/11, may we be reminded of that spirit that lifted our hearts and minds during those darkest of days. And, find it within ourselves to always be more caring and considerate of others.
Love and light,