I am more than a bit mindful of the irony.
You see, ten years ago today, he innocently boarded a similar flight. It was a crisp, fall day then. It is a crisp, fall day now. His mind that day was undoubtedly on the meetings ahead; not on the horror that would follow.
Today, as he looks around the terminal at his fellow passengers, I can't help but wonder if the thoughts are running through his head. Who among them has a heart full of hate? Who has children? Who is all alone? Who will never get to mend fences with loved ones or say goodbye? Who will not live to make it back home?
My fervent prayer is that those questions will not be answered. Today or any day in the future.
The days following the terror attacks ten years ago were surreal. Where we lived, normally reserved and crusty New Englanders stopped and hugged strangers on the street. Petty troubles were forgotten, crime virtually disappeared.
It felt as though we had a unified purpose. We became one people, with one heart. We were a nation under attack, and we refused to let the terror win. We rallied around political leaders, regardless of our preferred party. We took the time to call family and make sure they were okay. For once, we didn't mind waiting in line at the store or the traffic light. We found patience for our children. We clasped hands with strangers and prayed together. We felt our hearts ache for those less fortunate.
In short, we were exactly as we should be.
I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to see my country at its best. My children have never seen this firsthand, and I pray it doesn't take another horrific act of violence to bring it about again. Please take today, and remember what it felt like in those few weeks following 9-11. Remember the pride you felt for your country and your people. Remember the love you had for your fellow man and forgive those who have hurt you. Be kind to strangers and refrain from judging others. Be patient and thoughtful. Help those in need.
Live just a little bit better.
BE just a little bit better.
And, please, don't ever forget.