Yesterday was the ten year anniversary of 9/11. A day none of us will ever forget. I was getting ready for work, listening to the radio when the DJ reported that a plane had flown into the World Trade Center. At first, I thought it was a really incredibly unfunny joke, except he wasn’t laughing.
By the time I realized they weren’t joking, the second tower had been hit, and this was officially no accident, but an act of terrorism. I stumbled into my living room and turned on the TV to try to understand what was happening. When the the third plane hit the Pentagon, I wondered if the world had gone mad.
On my way to work, the fourth plane crashed into a field in Pennsylvania after the passengers revolted against the terrorists. At work, no one did anything besides huddle in the break room, watching TV and whispering in small groups.
It was time of great pain, confusion, sadness, fear and anger. But also a time of hope, compassion, unity and love. Even in our shock and sense of helplessness, I saw so many people come together to support each other and work together. And begin to slowly heal.
I watched David Letterman’s first live show after 9/11 and appreciated his sensitivity to the horrendous attack his beloved city had endured, but also his belief in America’s resilience and New Yorkers innate toughness. Every joke moved us forward and reminded us that we can – and should – laugh again. It is the American way after all.
It’s been ten years, but those wounds still linger. I imagine they always will. The first time I saw the World Trade Center standing tall and proud in an old movie shot pre 9/11 my heart gasped in pain. Those sneaky images still continue to crop up and make my heart ache every time. And I’m okay with that. It’s a reminder for me to remember how fragile life can be and to appreciate all the things I have in my life to be grateful for.
The other day I was talking to a friend who told me about some troubles another friend was experiencing. She shared the advice she gave our friend: the best revenge is a happy and successful life. And she’s right. The best revenge against bullies, enemies and terrorists is a happy and successful life.
Our lives were forever changed on 9/11, but our spirit was never broken. America still stands as a place where you can live a happy and successful life.