Ten years have passed.
So much has happened in those ten years. As a nation, we've made plenty of mistakes since that day. But we've also done some great things. In that sense, the previous 10 years were no different than any other in our history.
But they've felt different.
All I have to do is think about that day and I can still feel the horror, the shock, the anger and the sadness. All of those emotions act like a film, giving every subsequent day a subtle gray cast. Some days you barely notice it, but others you can hardly see past it.
I imagine many others feel the same way.
But sometimes, I think about how fortunate we are in this country. How many gifts we've been given. We are a wealthy nation. We are a free nation. We are a nation that inspires others and draws millions to our shores in search of a better life.
So many others have seen so much greater sorrow. Floods, famine, war, revolution. The horrors from abroad that we witness on the news each day paint a much scarier picture than anything we've ever experienced here.
And yet that does nothing to lessen the pain we all feel.
It's not because we don't care about those outside our borders. Most of us are quite empathetic. But ultimately, we can only truly internalize what we experience ourselves. And so, we are still held captive by those still-raw wounds from ten years ago.
It's no way to live. It's understandable, but it's not particularly useful. Ultimately, the best way we could honor those who were lost that day is to to move forward. Never forgetting what happened, but letting it go, so we can again be the nation we set out to be 235 years ago.
Life will always be filled with hardship and tragedy. And while I hope we never again see something on the scale of 9/11, it could happen. But knowing that should set us free, not imprison us. Understanding that life will never go according to plan should be the ultimate motivation to make the most of what's right in front of us.
Easier said than done, for sure. But that's pretty much how life works. Nobody said it would be easy.