"Do not ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do that. For what the world needs is more people who have come alive."
-Howard Thurman

Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Let Us...": My Hope For This 9/11 Anniversary

Dear Friends,
  A very momentous day in our history lies before us, and today I decided to gather some of the thoughts that have been pervading my mind the last few days and spent a good deal of time reflecting and writing.  Consequently, I decided in the spirit of what I believe this anniversary means to me, I would like to share some of these thoughts with you all.  I hope that each of you are able to find your own peace and meaning in this day, and for anyone for whom this day hits especially close to home, please know that you are in my thoughts. 

"There is a reason God made the sunrise and sunset such a captivating marvel. This transition from light to dark should be marked by this awe inducing occasion, because it is notable. Without darkness, would we have the same appreciation for light? And without light would we understand the beauty and serenity of darkness? God calls attention to this transition by the spectacle of sunrise and sunset because it is important...within this contrast from one to the other lies its blessing". ~Me (from a journal entry I wrote a few years ago)

This 9/11, as we commemorate the 10th anniversary of a day that shook our nation to the core, let us reflect, and let us remember.  Let us take a moment to pray for those who have been lost, those who are left behind, and those who continue to defend liberty and sacrifice their lives everyday for our freedom. 

But let us also celebrate. Let us find the light that was created from one of the darkest days our nation has ever seen.  Let us find the beauty that was effectuated through the pain.  Let us celebrate the spirit of unity that arose; the heroes that triumphed; the profound acts of love and compassion, and of bravery and strength that proved what we are truly made of.  Let us celebrate our country, our rights and our freedoms; let us celebrate each other, express our love and hold our friends and families a little tighter...And let us celebrate life...for it is "short but sweet for certain.*"

Let us honor this day by recapturing some of that light that ascended from the ashes of 9/11 and using it to guide us today and in to our future.  Let us feel a little more united, a little more compassionate, a little more patriotic, a little more grateful, and a little more humbled.  Let strength be actualized through weakness, and hope emanate from despair.  We may be knocked down one hundred times, as a nation and as a people, but we will join hands, lean on each other, discover strength we didn't know existed...and we will stand up one-hundred-and one. 

Love Always,

(a photo from my year of service as Miss Virginia 2010 that I felt appropriate to commemorate this anniversary)

“Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. “ ~President George W. Bush, December 11, 2001

*: "Celebrate we will for life is short, but sweet for certain." ~Dave Matthews Band