How do we honor them?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

It was a glorious day like this one. The sky was blue, the morning crisp and cool. We awoke to the beauty of fall.

It started like any day. We hurried into life, some rushing to jobs, others getting kids to school and some quietly beginning what seemed an ordinary morning.

It shattered like a mirror breaking into a million pieces. We stopped in the midst of hurrying and watched in silence as an ordinary morning transformed into tragedy.

It shook us to our core. We felt pain as only a shock to our sense of reality could bring it forth. Our souls ached for the innocence that slipped away as planes crashed.

It tied us together in the days that followed. We mourned with those who lost so much. We held each other and struggled to understand the why and how of such cruelty.

It passed and we moved on with life. One year, two years, five years and 10 years, we live in a world that feels different to us. We come together every year to remember and to mourn again.

It is 11 years gone since that morning and we wake to another glorious day. We hurry into life. Some of us still rushing to work and getting kids to school, others maybe living a slower pace on this ordinary morning.

It is on this day that we remember. We talk about how we must not forget, how we must honor those who left us on that bright, crisp day. We vow to keep the flame burning in our hearts so they live on as long as we live.

It is time to look beyond the pain of that reality-shattering tragedy to what it taught us. Those who died call us to seek the lesson in the loss. They reach out urging us to do more than mourn their passing.

It is the echo of their voices we must hear and honor. They tell us to return to love and to understanding that love heals. They beg us to let go of anger, judgment and vengeance and intolerance.

It is our calling to take the tragedy and make it a triumph of spirit, not only for those like us, those we call one of us, but also for everyone. We show our greatness in our ability to express compassion and understanding for those who seem so far removed from grace.

It takes faith and trust in divine guidance to move beyond the anger we felt toward those who inflicted the pain, those who tore a whole in the heart of our country. We are a people who claim God as who we trust, who state we are one nation under God. Claiming that brings the responsibility to embody that in all we say and do.

It is no small commitment to be an example of the best humanity can offer to a world so in need of light in the darkness. We have a choice about how we move forward.

It is the 11th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. The sky is blue and the morning air is crisp. Those of us still blessed to be breathing on this planet awoke to another day, another gift.

It will be another day tomorrow, and another day after that one. The question to ask is not should we remember or if we acknowledge enough what happened that morning. We must ask how we take what happened and let it make us better than we were before 911.

It is what we owe those who died in the Twin Towers and at the Pentagon, those in the planes and even those who hated so much that they caused such pain in the world. We are to love bigger. We are to find a way to peace so no more mornings shatter and no more hearts break.

It is how on every day of our lives we honor those who lost their lives on that September day.