When we think of 9/11, aren’t we all aghast by the senseless madness of evil? And don’t we all mourn the innocent victims, while we salute the heroes who ran into danger?
Shortly after the attack, I visited my son in New York City. He had not yet gone to the site, explaining only that he could not. So it was that I walked alone through the Lower East Side, silently praying.
The stench of the remains of life confronted me, while the air hung heavily with debris. As I walked I came across a mountain of flowers, in front of a FDNY Ladder Company. Most of its crew had lost their lives, risking everything in the hope that they could save even one. In that moment, I understood why my son could not walk these streets, for I, a stranger, could barely.
Going further, I went into the Grand Central Station. The walls of its long corridor were covered with hundreds upon hundreds of photographs of the missing, as well as letters from loved ones asking for help. Old faces, young faces, white faces, black and brown faces – the faces of innocent victims unrecovered.
9/11 is a day of remembrance, and who is not hushed by its solemnness? But it is not simply about remembering the victims; it is about remembering who we are.
Behind the man-made atrocities of life, from the war-torn streets of Aleppo to the terror in an Orlando nightclub and the horror of 9/11, there are those who craft a world of hate and clothe it in rhetoric. Why do we humans listen or follow?
Last night my husband and I watched the movie Sully, and if you have not seen it yet, do. It is a powerful testimony of the goodness of humankind, and of the choices we all face that hold the potential of greatness.
In the movie, there is a simple line which is attributed to Captain Chesley Sullenberger. Sully phones his wife after the water landing and says, “I want you to know, I did the best I could.”
“I did the best that I could.” This simple statement gives me pause about the choices I have made, for my hope is that I can claim the same: I did the best I could.
I leave you with this beautiful message of hope: