It's that time of year again. A day of reflection, remembrance, and service. I struggle with this time of year knowing that on this day eleven years ago, our world changed. At that moment, it was difficult for me to comprehend. I was a college student, twenty-two years old on this historic day. I have never seen such a range of emotions. I saw professors with looks of amazement trying to stay calm and answer questions. I saw tears. Many were shed by me. And although I never imagined a day like this would ever happen, it did.
Thinking back and reflecting upon these events, I can't help but try to see the positives. Never in my lifetime have I seen a nation unify in a time of such tragedy. People around the United States stepped up to the challenge by donating blood to refill local blood banks. Volunteers worked around the clock collecting donations to help the victims' families. But perhaps the most vivid act of service was the men and women who were first responders to the scene: the fire fighters, police officers, EMT's, and others. People doing their job without a second of hesitation in the face of great uncertainty and tragedy. 9/11 was a tragic day, but again, without this event, we would never have witnessed the ultimate sacrifice many gave to their country on this day: their life.
We must honor and remember those that died on this day. We can give back. Today is a day of service. Give back to your community. Use your time, talents, and energy to provide someone with an uplifting experience. Help unify this country. Although we disagree with a great many things in this country, one concept is certain: the American spirit of hard work, determination, and strength will always prevail. Let's celebrate the lives lost by giving back and truly embrace the nature of September 11.
Thanks for reading.