Today, on September 11th, we honor the victims and celebrate the compassion and heroism that rose out of the tragedy in 2001.
I am old enough to remember where I was on September 11th, 2001. I was getting breakfast at a cafe when the first tower fell; someone in line casually asked if I’d heard that a plane hit the World Trade Center in New York. I said no. As I left the cafe, I decided it must be a sick rumor – it sounded more like a movie plot than actual events. I walked into my office building just in time to watch the second tower fall… live on television.
If you’ve watched 9/11 documentaries or scripted movies and series, you know that there were many in government and security agencies who suspected such an event. But for most of us, a terrorist attack was unimaginable, especially on American soil. The attack was such a shock, it seemingly stopped the world for days on end.
9/11 was a distinct day that altered the course of history. Before that day, TSA and Homeland Security didn’t exist; neither did the Patriot Act. It was a day that incited mass racism but also mass compassion and outreach. It was a day that pushed America to declare a War on Terror but also a day that demanded the world stop and be still for a while.
The video below is a beautiful snapshot of how we remember the events of 2001: