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We Will Never Forget

As I sit here reflecting on the events that happened on 9/11 twenty years ago, the overwhelming feeling of grief washes over my body. How does one try to express all that happened on that day and the lasting ripples it created in our world. I think of the all those people who thought they would see their families for supper that night, the wife who lost her husband, the children that never got to grow up, the first responders that didn't have to put their lives on the line but did and inevitably lost them, husbands that were widowed, the brothers and sisters that were lost, adult children, cousins, uncles, aunts, mentors, community leaders and so so many more. I think of the those of us that had to watch it on TV and frantically tried to call our loved ones that day to see if they were okay, only to have the phone lines so overwhelmed that we couldn't get through. My heart hurts for the terror in the hearts of those who had someone flying that morning, already in the air, the torment of waiting to see if they were the next victims. I think of our military preparing to deploy to all these catastrophic locations and to airports across the country, would they make it home? - it was eerie how quiet the skies were that day. Our political leaders were frantic in figuring out what was happening, how to respond, who was responsible. Our nations eyes were glued to the televisions and all we could do was watch and wait as the terror unfolded.....

Fast forward twenty years and the grief that changed our world still exists. It's there in the widow that had to figure out how to make it on their own, it's in the hearts of our military that were deployed in response, some made it back and others didn't. It's in the families who forever have a person missing from the table at Christmas. Grief exists on their birthdays, the day they died, the days that we just miss them. Grief shows up when we wonder what their life would have been like. How would our lives be different if they were still here. How would our country be different?

This is the day that our nation grieved as a whole. We held each other, cried with each, we locked arms and did it together. We didn't have to know a single person in the towers, in the planes, in the Pentagon or even the names of the first responders but we grieved them all. We lost what our country was that day and started to live in our new normal. We grieve the loss of security we lost. We grieve what once was and what was meant to be that never got to happen.

So today, hug your loved ones a little tighter. Tell them what they mean to you, don't assume they know. Smile at the stranger. Remedy the altercation you had with someone. Apologize for the things you said and forgive those who have hurt you. We never know what's around the corner for us but we can live a life with fewer regrets. Let's remember what it's like to lock arms with an entire nation. Let's remember that we are all in this life together. Let's remember that even though we don't look alike, dress alike or think alike, we are all capable of coming together and loving one another. We have done it before and we can do it again.

We will never forget.

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