Between 8:46 a.m. and 10:28 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, 19 Islamic extremists hijacked four commercial airliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania (after a struggle with passengers who fought until their final moments).
We all know the story: 2,998 killed, more than 6,200 injured. We remember the shock. The fear. The anger and bitterness. The desperate need for revenge and retaliation.
What disturbs me most, though, is that for a lot of people those feelings have faded, replaced by the concerns of the everyday. I'm one of those people.
I didn't even realize that today was the anniversary until just a few minutes ago, when I glanced at my phone and saw the date. So I took a moment to sit quietly and simply...remember.
I'm sure that those who lost loved ones in the attacks constantly remember. To live with that pain, day in and out, a part of your world missing -- taken in such a senseless and violent way -- I cannot imagine. I hope they manage to find some bit of peace amongst the madness.
The rest of us could do well to complain a little less if we can't take our large bottle of shampoo on the plane. Calm down when we have to empty our pockets and walk through the metal detectors a couple times. Get over it when we're asked to take off our shoes for inspection. (If any of us can afford a plane ticket these days, at the out-of-control prices)
I remember the day after 9/11/01, thinking about only the most important things in my life -- how much I loved my husband and what would I do if I lost him? What would I do if the next day I went to work...and never came home? Do I really want to think about starting a family, bringing a child into a world where this kind of agony can happen?
My husband's still here. So am I. We now have a beautiful 4-year-old boy. We have a nice life. Today's the day to realize that it can be gone in an instant. Embrace those you love. Try to understand those you don't. Celebrate the life you have. Treasure every moment.