For the first time in many years, I was unusually silent on 9-11. Normally, I have plenty to say.
Part of the reason was because I was flying that day and the idea of flying on September 11th – even 14 years after the World Trade Center attacks – made me a little nervous. Although judging from the presence of security everywhere I turned, it did seem like an incredibly safe day to travel.
I actually went to NYC for the weekend. I was missing the city and the people in it. And given that it was 9-11, it seemed like the right place to be.
As my fellow reporter Rob Stewart (who I was working with on that terrible day) put on Facebook, “My prayer is that we live our lives in a way of actively honoring those we lost with good deeds.”
It’s a beautiful sentiment. One I think about a lot.
As I said last year about the lives lost on September 11th… “In their memory, do something kind for someone else. Someone you know. Or someone you don’t. It doesn’t really matter. And if possible, involve your children in this act of kindness. So they watch and they learn.
Because if we all embrace the good, hate really doesn’t stand a chance.”
Hate does seem to surround us. While terrorist attacks are in the back of our minds, gun violence is in the front.
My friend just went camping. “Were you scared of bears?” I asked. “Because they sell bear mace.” (That’s the kind of super helpful things you learn when you spend a year as a general assignment reporter in Montana.)
Nope, she wasn’t. Not scared of bears or sleeping on the ground or not getting a hot shower. She was nervous about the fact that anyone at the camp ground could have taken a gun and started shooting. And she would have been completely unprotected.
That is life in 2015.
Want a kinder, gentler world? Be kinder. Be more gentle. Fight for what you believe in and treat people with love and understanding. It’s not always easy. But we need to wake up each morning and try again.
It’s just one small way we can honor the people who died that day. And the ones who lost their lives inhaling toxic fumes at ground zero. And the ones who died fighting overseas. Just one small way.