To the editor and fellow citizens,
Today we all remember 9-11. Where we were. What happened. How we felt about family, friends and people we never knew.
I was at WFC across the street from WTC and would have been on the 101st floor of Building 1 except for the Regional Managing Partner of my firm refusing to allow us to stay in our space on floors 94-101 after the 1993 bombing in the underground parking. That change of location of about the length of a football field has forever affected my life. The chaos of trying to get colleagues and strangers to safety when none of us knew what was happening was traumatic. The danger of events that were so close yet didn’t physically touch me will never leave me, particularly the knowledge that others who took my office were forever lost to their loved ones.
But eventually what struck me most as events unfolded was not just the horror and tragedy, but instead was the incredible reaction and behaviors of all of America. The first responders who charged into danger, the passengers on Flight 93 who knowingly sacrificed their lives, the neighbors who helped communities through the grief of loss, and Americans everywhere who came together to support each other, their communities and people and communities far away. We put aside the labels, tags, points of view and other things we use to separate ourselves from each other and came together and found our common ground.
If we truly are sincere in determining to “never forget,” we should be focused on never forgetting how we acted and felt about each other. If we want to honor those who lost their lives on 9-11, we should do it by remembering the best in us and bringing it out every day. This isn’t about remembering what was done to us. It is remembering and honoring those who never came home and remembering what we are capable of; individually and as a society. Next time we want to go “tribal” on somebody or something we don’t like, we should remember 9-11 and be more like we were then. Because that’s what America has always aspired to be.