Today, we mark the seventh anniversary of 9/11, when our nation saw the face of evil.
Yet on that awful day, we also witnessed something distinctly American: ordinary citizens rising to the occasion, and responding with extraordinary acts of courage.
Recently someone spoke about making sure we had a moment of silence on this day. In response a man exclaimed that he wanted to shout from the rooftops, more or less. He wasn't suggesting that we not honor the dead and remember solemnly, rather he wanted us to never forget. To him, to many, this isn't just one day of remembrance. He wanted us to condemn the attacks and those that perpetrated them. He wanted us to raise our fists in opposition to those who threaten us. It's something we must not forget. We don't need to live in fear, but we can use it as a reminder that we are not immortal, we are not 100% safe, we are vulnerable, but so long as we remember that, we can be stronger and better prepared.
Some random thoughts: This morning, my daughter is at school. Her young little self has no knowledge of the tragic events that occurred on September 11, 2001, yet. She wasn't born. I haven't ever found a way to tell her in words that won't scare what today is all about. As I walked away from the school this morning, I heard over the loud speaker that at 8:46 a.m. they would have a moment of silence. There was no explanation. Perhaps, like me the educators there felt the elementary school children were too young. Perhaps they assumed they already knew. Perhaps I will now have a discussion with my daughter when she comes home today.