"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
It’s a day to remember.
As a naïve fourteen-year-old, I was only able to take in all the news reports, horrific photos, and inflamed speeches of that fateful morning on September 11th. I knew then what it was to have a full heart, to know passionate emotions that I couldn’t put words to – anger, loss, despair, confusion, and resolve all at once. My first reaction was to become an EMT, inspired by the courage of those who risked themselves for strangers in burning, tumbling buildings. I can’t stand the sight of blood, it was but a noble intention in a moment of inspiration.
With a few years behind me, a growing world perspective, and hopefully a little wisdom under my belt, I now think of how those emotions are still there when I see images of the attacks. But that foolish desire for retribution against a nameless and faceless foe has all but disappeared. It’s not about a cry for vengeance anymore, because that will only spill more innocent blood. But that sense of resolve still beats strong in my heart, with a greater purpose. And I pray it is the same for many others in this great nation.
Tragedy will come and can’t always be prevented. That doesn’t mean it’s right or should be excused. We live in a world where people have free will and choose to do evil. But it doesn’t end with those evil acts. Those moments of darkness, may they be the moments when we all can shine brightest. When we refuse to take revenge and instead pour ourselves into those who hurt. That we truly can turn the other cheek, show love, and give more than ever before.
Today is a day to remember the loss of dearly beloved innocents and honor their memory, to give respect to those who showed bravery and sacrified their all to save their fellow man, to honor those who served and paid the highest price in defence of safety and freedom, and to pray and hope for the ones who continue their watch over our nation. God forbid we use today as an excuse to rise up with vengeful hearts anew and cheapen that memory. May we choose instead to show strength and honor in our resolve.
Resolve to never live in fear, no matter the harm done to us. Resolve to always reach out, no matter that those we wish to help turn their backs. Resolve to do what’s right, no matter how wrong the situation. Resolve to make the world better, no matter the cost.