Tragic events which leave deep emotional scars on those left behind tend to soften as time passes. But not always. Not even after fifteen years when, on that beautiful September morning, each of our lives was severely impacted by the willful, destructive ideology of radical extremists.
As I sat and watched the yearly 9/11/01 ceremony in New York City, it seemed to hit harder than in previous years. It was almost as if it had just taken place for the first time. The incredible pain of watching innocent lives disappearing as two majestic icons collapsed into clouds of smoke and twisted metal was…overwhelming.
My personal reaction might have been due to recently spending time at both the Freedom Tower and 9/11 Museum with my family. The footprint of the North Tower had us walking on what I deemed sacred ground; there was a sense that many who had perished were watching over each visitor, perhaps looking for a familiar loved one, waiting to send some spiritual comfort to those left behind.
Today, I again watched, and listened, as names were read by family members. Their tears gently fell as they spoke about the losses they suffered, each vowing to never forget. Brave families, with such unimaginable voids in their lives, who took time to share sweet stories and express their love as they looked to the heavens.
Fifteen years have passed; many more will follow. Ceremonies and observances will continue. One day, the 9/11/01 tragedy will become a chapter in history for generations that follow. That is, until those generations walk on hallowed ground and learn…to never forget.