September 11, 2012

remember, remember


there are a few days a year that throw time into perspective for me.
i mean june 10th can pass every year and i don't think much of it.
but some days come  and i think "what?! a year has passed already?! where did those 365 days go?"
my birthday.
christmas/new year's.
the start of a school year.

and always today.
always september 11th.

my birthday makes me feel old.
christmas and new year's make me happy.
and the start of a new school year makes me very nostalgic.

but today i just can't stop thinking.

i think about how drastically things can change in just an instant.
i think about how much i really do love my country.
i think about the complete devastation that occurred.
i think about, quite tearfully, how many lives were lost.
how many lives were taken.
i think about the panic. i think about the fear.
and i think about how young i was and how little i understood.

i was in the 8th grade. i was in my American History class.
i remember the fear and concern on the faces of all of my teachers.
i remember the way my mom cried as she watched the news.
i remember not knowing everything but knowing it wouldn't be something i'd forget.

and i haven't.  as i sit here, on september 11, 2012--eleven years later,
i still remember it all.
except now i understand it.
now i'm not so young.
and remembering all of it, and thinking about all of it..
it breaks my heart.
and i know that the sadness, and the pain it brings to me is nothing
compared to the sadness and pain it brought to the citizens of New York, those who lost their dads or moms or sons or daughts or sisters or brothers or husbands or wives or their very best friends in the whole wide world.

it's nothing compared to the sadness and pain it brought to the fearless men and women who didn't sit back and watch but who stepped up and went to work. 

and i marvel.
i marvel at the strength of a nation so young. 
i marvel at the resilience of a city, of a country, of a people. 
i marvel at the unity that came as we  let go of race and age and religion and gender and political party and used our open palms to press on the terrible wound inflicted on our land-a wound that was meant to break us. 
i marvel, perhaps most of all, at how much it didn't break us.

i do not love today.
but i do love knowing i am free.
i love being an American. 
i love knowing i am a part of a nation that defends itself, that stands up for what it believes in. 
i love knowing that men and women continue to fight for our country and i am grateful to them.
i love knowing i can write these words, these thoughts, these memories. 

it's hard to believe it was eleven years ago.
may we never forget that day or the feelings we have as we remember it. 

"Our enemies have made the mistake that America's enemies always make. They saw liberty and thought they saw weakness. And now, they see defeat." -George W. Bush

"The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom."-Rudolph W. Giuliani

"Now we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It's a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It's also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend-even a friend whose name it never knew."- George W. Bush

"Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us."-Gordon B. Hinckley 


Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side.
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change, He faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: thy best, thy heavenly Friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: thy God doth undertake
To guide the future, as He has the past.
Thy hope, thy confidence let nothing shake;
All now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know
His voice Who ruled them while He dwelt below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
And all is darkened in the vale of tears,
Then shalt thou better know His love, His heart,
Who comes to soothe thy sorrow and thy fears.
Be still, my soul: thy Jesus can repay
From His own fullness all He takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
When we shall be forever with the Lord.
When disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
Sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past
All safe and blessèd we shall meet at last.

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