The past few years I've avoided the whole 9/11 memorial thing, largely because I think it's become such a source of politics and divisiveness among us and I find that distressing.
This year I've been thinking quite a bit about what we have become, how we as a nation have let this event shape us.
I don't like it.
Rather than rail on and on about the slow erosion of civil rights and the swift degradation into a Lord of the Flies mentality that we seem to have experienced since that day, I'm going to post the above picture and spend part of the day contemplating the heroes in my eyes - the people who went into dangerous situations knowing they could be hurt or killed but going anyway because there was a need and they answered. I will contemplate the victims - the people who were going to work, who were going about their day, when hellfire rained down on them. I will contemplate the survivors - the people who were victims and heroes who didn't die but will carry September 11, 2001 with them until the end of their days.
I will also hope that some day soon we will become United again, by compassion, passion, wit, wisdom, experience, empowerment, creativity, innovation, love, and above all the freedom that we have long been so proud of but have, of late, had in awfully short supply.