This day is simply one more day on the calendar. The eleventh day of September. Another beautiful, sunny day on the cusp between summer and fall.
And yet, this day, September 11th, will never be just another day on the calendar as we remember that beautiful, sunny day in September fifteen years ago—a day that began like so many others with people going about their ordinary, day-to-day lives, and then, in the brief span of a few hours, ended in shock and disbelief as airplanes became weapons of mass destruction, skyscrapers burned and fell to the ground, and smoke and ash filled the air—a day that is “painful to remember but impossible to forget.”
And so, we pause to remember.
We remember with gratitude all the heroes and heroines of that day, the firefighters and emergency responders who demonstrated such courage in the midst of crisis.
We remember in sorrow the innocents who perished, the stockbrokers and janitors, office workers, passengers, and bystanders, women, men, and children, firefighters and police officers who were victims of such calculated and senseless violence.
We remember with hope the voices that called, and still call, for unity in the face of division and hatred and urged peace even as our nation prepared for war.
We remember in bewilderment the ways that the events of that day changed who we are as a nation and continue to haunt us.
And remembering the terror and violence of that day, we rededicate ourselves this day to raising our voices against fanaticism, religious intolerance, racism, violence, terror, and hatred in all of its forms and doing whatever we can to create a future in which all people can live in freedom, community, and peace and without fear.
May it be so because we make it so.