Today marks 14 years since our world as we knew it was turned upside down. It’s impossible to fully describe the impact – globally, nationally or personally – of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 – “9/11.” None of us living through that time will ever forget where we were when we heard the news and the circumstances of our lives. I was enrolled as a full-time “non-traditional” student at the University of Utah finally finishing my degree. I was running late that morning. Switched on the radio to my favorite Classical music station hoping to calm my nerves with a little Brahms or Tchaikovsky.
Instead, I heard Terror.
I watched the towers tumble down on an 8 inch black and white screen – a tiny relic hiding in a custodial closet. There were about 10 of us huddled around in shocked silence trying to make sense of what we were seeing.
It was surreal.
Confusing. Horrifying. Numbing.
From that moment on, all of those dreadful minutes, hours, days and weeks have slowly rolled by. It’s hard to believe that it’s really been been 14 years. It’s a bit sad and discouraging to know that nearly an entire generation has been born and grown up only hearing about “9/11” as a history lesson. It is as distant and foreign to them as events from World War II are to me.
But, I digress.
Today is a day to remember. A day to remember those who directly lost their lives at the hands of the terrorists, and those who lost their lives in the aftermath – many who gave their lives in the rescue effort.
A day to remember the brave heroes who gave their all. (Including the service animals!)
A day to remember the miracles, the tears, and the tender mercies.
A day to remember how our entire nation rallied together, and how “God Bless America” took on a much deeper meaning to our citizens – we sang it so often together that there was even a plea to make this song our national anthem.
In many ways, we were reborn as a nation. Once more, we were flying our flags. We were voting. We were singing. We were paying tribute. We were humble. We were a Nation united in prayer and faith.
One Nation. Under God. Indivisible.
Oh, how quickly we seem to forget!
Fourteen years later we are still at war. It is a war that seems to have no end both abroad, or at home. Once more we are a nation divided with too many dark and dismal issues. We are a nation that is not humble and is not grateful. We have forgotten our values, and are awash in controversies and contention.
And yet, there is still also great good in our nation and the world,. There is still great hope and light.
These prophetic words of comfort and encouragement were given one year after the tragedy, and are still relevant today:
“During the past year, we have come to know the heroic acts of men and women whose courage and selflessness were manifest on that terrible day. So many lost their lives. So many friends and families have been deprived of dear ones. Today we pause to remember and join in tribute to those whose lives were taken and to those who have carried on so bravely in their absence.
“We know that much good has come of these dreadful circumstances. From the smoke and ashes of New York, Washington, D.C., Pennsylvania, and other areas of the world has arisen a greater sense of unity and purpose in ridding the earth of evil and providing for the freedom and security of all people. We endorse the righteous efforts of God-fearing people everywhere in this important endeavor.
“May our Father in Heaven smile upon us all, comfort those who continue to mourn, and guide the leaders of nations in the quest for justice and liberty, is our sincere prayer.”
– President Gordon B. Hinckley, and the Council of the Twelve Apostles, LDS Church – Sept. 11, 2002.
Today, let us Remember what it means to be a human family.
Let us stand true and strong in our faith.
Let us be humble in our hearts and closer to our God, so that it does not take another tragedy to force us to be humble and grateful for our existence.
Let us each strive to bring peace, kindness and goodness to this earth in whatever corner we currently live.
God bless us, every one. – MoSop