If Only A Pause

It was a warm, sunny September morning here in St. Louis….the complete opposite of what it is today.  But the details are still etched into my mind as though it were yesterday.  And life before 9/11 seems to be an entire lifetime ago.  Today, nine years later, we take a pause from our daily routines to reflect on that day and those that we lost.  Can you still remember your day all those years ago?

I first heard of the attack when I got into my car that morning to drive to school.  Not much was known yet, but when the radio station is feeding the Today show through it, you know it’s really big.  My first class was still held that day.  The professor didn’t see a reason to stop the review session (and still held the test two days later).  But the rest were canceled.  I just sat there all day (since I didn’t know my classes were canceled) and watched the horror unfold before my eyes.  I remember the sadness that was felt.  I remember one student being really upset because her father worked in the World Trade Center.  We did our best to keep her calm, but I doubt it did much good.  The best medicine for that came when her father called her to tell her he was alright.  He had left the building before the planes had even hit.

I remember the tears that I had….which brings back tears now as I write this. The world changed that day.  We all changed that day.  Now we live in a mindset of “us” and “them.”  We live in a world where fear and hatred can get you elected to public office.  But when you get down to it, there is no “us” or “them” on this planet.  We are all human….and we are only killing ourselves.  Like Gandhi once said, “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.”  How blind have we gotten in today’s world?  The kind of mentality that we have lived with for the past nine years is not good and can only lead to further destruction.  Yes, a stand must be made and we have the right to protect ourselves.  But we don’t have any right to kill them than they do to kill us.  It makes us no better than them.

Today, all we hear about is war, killing, and are put in a constant state of fear….especially by our elected officials.  This is not who we are.  Sure 9/11 changed us all in profound ways, but why does that mean we have to give up our ideals?  Why do we have to forget the way we were before that fateful day?  We should never forget who we are, and where we came from.  And may, on this anniversary of 9/11, when you pause to reflect and to remember….remember who we were as a people before and the world we’ve helped to create after.  It’s not too late to make changes for the better….for us and for our neighbors.  “We all breathe the same air, we all cherish our children’s future, and we are all mortal.”

In closing, as I pause to make my own reflection, more words of Gandhi come to mind.  “May we cultivate peace in our hearts; peace begins at home.”

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2 Responses to If Only A Pause

  1. Will Roth says:

    HOW ELOQUENT, i shed tears today too, thank you for sharng this.

  2. weight says:

    yeah my dad will like this

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