If you say that 9/11 had no impact on you, I will call you a liar.
If you say that 9/11 was a terrible event but we should get over it, I will tell you to grow a heart.
I don’t want to forget 9/11. On that day, for just a while, a country divided over race, gender, ethnicity, religion . . . anything that made us different, was united. For the first time we truly were the union our country’s name implies. So when I remember 9/11, I remember the hope.
Hope that maybe someday it won’t take a tragedy for people to put aside their differences and hold out their hands to one another. Hope that someday we really will be setting an example for other countries, an example that doesn’t need to be fought over or torn apart. An example that reflects truly happy people so that others look and think ‘I want to be that way’.
I remember the heroes too. I remember the ‘common’ men and women who stood up to save others even though it meant their own lives. Their plane still flies, but now it flies in a world that honors their selfless acts. I remember the countless men and women who fought to save even one life. Fighting to extinguish the flames of hate, terror, and prejudice.
So if you remember only the bad, only remember the pain, only remember what you lost . . . stop for a moment and think of what we gained. A chance for the future. A hope for our children. I won’t forget. Forgetting that hope is forgetting those who gave it to us.
And I will never forget a hero.