9-1-1: A Look Back at Terror

whitewashed image of the skyline of New York with the Twin Towers intact

It’s been fifteen years since the attack on the World Trade Center in New York, and when I started writing this post, I didn’t know what the Twin Towers looked like. The image in my head was vague, and the pictures I found weren’t any better.

I had forgotten.

On September 11, 2001, I was a junior in high school. Within a week, almost every young man I knew had signed up for one branch of the military or another, and were excitedly waiting to serve their country in a war that had not yet begun.

I had no real idea of what war was. As a child, I had heard of wars, but they were something fantastical, like a story that had no bearing on my own reality. They were removed from me. A fiction.

When the Twin Towers fell, I lost one of my last shreds of innocence. I grew up a little. My life was changed.

I couldn’t, and still can’t, imagine what it must have been like for those who lost their loved ones there, or in any of the subsequent terror attacks. My heart aches for NYC, for India, for Turkey, for Fort Hood, for Israel, for San Bernadino, for Egypt, for France, for Somalia, for Iran, for Nigeria, and for Orlando, among all the others.

Whether we know it or not, we all feel these losses. Energy is dispersed. Love is destroyed. Life is stolen. Everything changes. The world crumbles a little bit more.

But we can’t crumble with it. We have to stand up and declare ourselves stronger than hatred. We are bigger than the cruelty that lives in dark hearts.

Stay safe and hold your loved ones tight, everyone.

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