There are days you never forget.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
I woke up in a fog to the sounds of toddlers playing, the telephone ringing, and breaking news updates going on outside our master bedroom. I could hear my wife say, “I don’t know. We just turned it on.” Our confusion, curiosity, and concern leapt into high alert. All the while, my son Avery, now 17, and DJ, still his best friend, were unaware of what was taking place across the country and live on-screen right behind them.
There’s a lot going on in this picture. It tells a tale of the best and worst our world has to offer. And, it’s remained a constant memory-jogger for at least two families that 9-11-01 really happened, really matters, and is really worth remembering.
Monday, September 11, 2017.
As I sipped my morning coffee and caught up on the wake of Hurricane Irma, my smartphone reminded me that today is Patriot Day. Sadly, I was more acutely aware of this day’s significance last year, as I was flying home from a speaking engagement and saw that my ticket said, “9-11.” Yes, the world keeps moving on, but today I’m cognizant that my heart needs to remember.
So, I pulled out my picture of DJ & Avery again.
How do you remember?
16 years have passed. 9-11 is still very real to many who were on the streets of New York. The effects continue to impact countless individuals and families worldwide who needlessly lost loved ones. Communities of first-responders remain close to the pain, and yet they stay committed to their calling. Public servants from coast-to-coast are finding ways to draw attention to memories that must not be buried. There’s no need to live in the past, but taking time to remember today is still a worthy opportunity.
Who can you call to encourage, grieve with, or thank because you know 9-11 impacted them deeply?
What local remembrance events or gatherings could you attend on your own, or with family or friends, to honor those most affected by 9-11?
How can you spread messages of gratitude, hope, and love to express how remembering 9-11 has moved your heart? (Social media is one way…what else?)
What reflections can you write about or pray through that will cement the importance of “remembering” in your life?