Beloved Friends & Family in Liberty:
Where were you that morning? Anytime an image of 9/11 flashes in front of me from a magazine or from the news, my mind immediately goes to that moment when I and millions of others watched the first plane crash into the New York City skyscraper (on our televisions). I wish I could say that, in that instant, I had enough optimism to believe that this was simply a random accident, never to happen again; but my instincts were telling me, that not only was this a “planned event” of some kind, but that our nation would never be the same.
Souls interrupted: For the next several days, the events of those horrific hours were played out in the media over and over as if we were all waiting to wake up from this nightmare…but it was not a nightmare. By the time disaster struck, most of us were very much awake that beautiful, crisp, fall morning in September, where for a few moments in the early hours, we may have been admiring the first leaves turning to a breath-taking backdrop of crystal blue skies and maybe… with our warm cup of coffee in hand.
But as the hours turned into days, we knew that there was no going back; this was indeed a nightmare and one that turned the page for our country and for millions of lives, forever.
One in sorrow and resolve: After a few days, the news began to take us to the many funerals and memorials being held, one after the other in solemn sequence, as if any of us could endure even one of those, least of all, the grieving who were partaking of the services. We stood silently (in spirit from wherever we were) beside the families of victims and first-responders; and for the ones who had to attend the services of several of their co-workers or family members….all we could do was swallow hard and pray harder as we watched them move ahead with miraculous resolve, from one sorrowful event to another, laying their people to rest.
Yet in the midst of the anguish, of the horrific images emerging from all three of the death fields of this attack, New York City, Washington D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, something very pure and unexpected began to rise to the surface. Suddenly, millions of us felt ourselves to be united in purpose in a way that had not been seen in our country in decades. People joined in from all 50 states and even from around the world to assist, forgetting for a while, any differences in politics or even theories about “what really happened that day.” People simply showed up to lend a hand in person or via the many charities and emergency programs that had been put into effect. Silently I prayed that this amazing spirit of unity could somehow continue indefinitely. Could it?
What we take away from 9/11: Many things were proven on that day, how wretched terrorism is and the inevitable death toll that follows as well as how terrible mankind can be to other humans; but also, we witnessed amazing heroism and evidence of angels arising from the smoke and the ashes …as we were reminded of the fragile nature of life. Most of all, we were filled with the inescapable certainty, that the time to love is “always now.”
9/11/2001 in our hearts forever: Today, the dust has settled in New York City and the new memorial stands tall against the skyline; and many things remain for us. For starters, we are left with monumental task of preventing more terror attacks from wherever they originate; and apart from the images which are forever burned in our mind from this act of war on our nation, we have the legacies of precious heroes who showed us what they were willing to do to help complete strangers. This commemoration must include all who have served in harm’s way around the USA and overseas since 9/11 and their families, many of whom have, since that fateful fall day, suffered terrible losses themselves.
But something else remains with us; and that is, “The Eternal Now,” because with that we can choose at each moment where our hearts will be and in response, what our hands will do. Yes, the time to love, to forgive, to serve, and to comfort….is still “always now,” an opportunity and value which we can live by every day and something we can pass along to our young, by our own example.
The responsibility & opportunity that comes with Freedom: For those of us especially, who have been born under the “Flag of Freedom,” let us embrace that liberty and use it to build a legacy of love and healing, each in our own way. May God lead and guide us all in that endeavor as we seek to remain “one” in His Spirit now and forever.
Sincerely yours, Ann M. Wolf
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