As I reflect on that tragic day in 2001, I remember thinking about how things will never be the same again, not only for my generation, but also for future generations. As one does when thinking in such a way, I, without pause, defaulted to the worst case scenario, and took on the role of pessimist, before first thinking about how past world changing events helped us learn and grow stronger as a nation.
As I stand here today, I can validate two things:
One – things have changed forever, some for the good, and some for the bad.
Two – we have grown stronger as a nation, as is proven by complete strangers gathering together to honor and remember another group of complete strangers.
It is said that “what separates us from animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.”
I thank all of you for confirming that point for me today, and I call upon you to do one last thing when you reflect on the events of 9/11…
Before mourning the deaths of the 2,996 civilians and first responders lost on that day, let’s first celebrate their lives.