My parents generation used to say “I remember exactly where I was when Kennedy was shot.” I never understood quite why they said that until 9/11/2001. On that day I laid in bed, my husband was getting ready for work. It was early I turned on the news and saw the twin tower on fire. I figured it was just a fire, but it was so much more.
I was 9 months pregnant with my 4th daughter and as I looked at the T.V. over my gigantic belly I watched a second plane crash into the second tower. On that day, none of it made sense. News coming in live thought maybe a pilot was on a suicide mission or a pilot error. News coming in faster than my brain could comprehend what I was seeing. Then more breaking news. A plane crashed into the Pentagon. My head was spinning.
This was all coming in in real time. Playing out slowly over the course of the day. The news showed people covered in white powder and rubble, bleeding and confused. I sat helpless in my living room watching their horror. I watch amazing acts of bravery. I watched amazing acts of kindness, all in the midst of incredible evil. How? Why?
Those questions have never really been answered. Sure we know the who and the how and maybe part of the why, but I don’t think we will ever really understand real evil. There is no explanation that makes evil understandable. What I find so incredible is despite the events that unfolded that horrible day, evil didn’t win. Evil was simply the impetus for amazing act of love, kindness and bravery. I watched everyday people do extraordinary things. I watched a nation come together to help each other. I have watched the stories from 9/11 survivors and those that didn’t survive change lives. My friend Leslie was in the Twin Towers when they fell. Her story is gut wrenching. She now uses her story to help others. Evil didn’t win that day, it simply provided a way for human goodness to shine even brighter.
We all have our own personal 9/11’s – those events in our life that completely turn our lives upside down. In those moments we have our own accounts of people who stepped up to show love and bravery to us. Yes, as the saying goes “We will never forget.” For me that has a lot more meaning that one evil event. We must never forget that in the end, evil loses bigtime. Love wins because love never fails.