This week marks a sad occasion for every American citizen across the world as the anniversary of 9/11 draws close. At this time we stop the clocks and remember a day when our great nation stood still and watched the world crumble around us. This day has been carved into the history books and is a day that we will never forget.
Yet despite the sorrow, the pain and the countless loss of lives, we shall stand proud and remember this as a day that America came together, the day that human kindness triumphed over evil. This day should be a day not only to honor those who lost their lives, but to honor those lives that keep on going. To honor the prayers, the strength and the sweet steps of kindness that came like a shining beacon from a nation plunged into darkness.
The Fateful Day
For many the morning of September 11th 2001 started like any other morning. People woke up drank coffee and commuted to work. Hours later two passenger flight planes hit the world trade center skyscrapers that have long been an iconic landmark of Manhattans skyline. The buildings caught fire and collapsed and a staggering 2,753 people lost their lives in what has been known as the worst terrorist attack on the USA. Later that same day another plane crashed into the Pentagon in the capital city Washington DC and a fourth plane went down in a field close to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. The news reported that this was the work of Islamic terrorist organization Al Qaeda and these events later led to the United States of America’s war on terror.
For days to follow the nation reeled in the shock and horror of these tragic events, many were lost and never found again. In the aftermath many civilians and emergency services came together to offer their help in searching for and rescuing victims. Amongst these heroic figures were firefighters, policemen, coast guards, carpenters, ironworkers and numerous everyday New Yorkers. One of the most symbolic moments in the direct aftermath of the terrorist attacks was the moment when three firefighters raised the American flag over the rubble. The message of the stars and stripes pierced the hearts of many Americans who understood that the hope of the people could never be destroyed.
The Wealth of Human Kindness
The shockwaves of 9/11 continued to send tremors across American soil but morale never failed. Neighbors reached out to embrace neighbors; strangers opened their arms to strangers and whole communities pulled together. In the wake of 9/11 over 250 nonprofit organizations were founded to raise awareness, relief funds and morale support, not only for the victims and their families, but for the whole country. A staggering $700 million was raised within only two years. This is a true testament to the American spirit and the wealth, not of the pocket, but of human kindness.
The Hope of a Nation
The question of why and how have been at the forefront of our minds ever since. But this day is not the day for such questions, this is a day to remember the brave and the strong and the ordinary people with big hearts who make up our great nation. It is the time to remember the fearless and unselfish attitude of the firefighters who entered the burning buildings to help those in need. It is a time to remember those 700 children who face every day without their parents and still find the strength to smile and laugh with their friends. It is a time to remember all those everyday citizens who continue to work together to bring happiness and hope back to our nation.
Ground Zero Today
Now where the twin towers once stood the 9/11 memorial has opened its gates. Visitors and residents can take time out to remember in the shade of the trees, they can walk peacefully around the twin reflecting pools and read the inscriptions in bronze of the name of all those who lost their lives that fateful day. The Ground Zero museum is also open as a tribute and to help shed light and understanding on the events that unfolded on the 11th September 2001.
Remembrance and Reflection
Since that day we have witnessed communities reaching out to offer help and condolences to those in need. Every year on the anniversary of 9/11 the nation remembers with memorial services across the country in honor of what we now call patriots day. On this day the American flag is flown at half-mast out of respect for those who lost their lives. At 8.46am eastern daylight time, the moment the first plane struck the world trade center, Americans are also asked to observe a moment’s silence.
As Long as we Have Hope
Despite the tragedy and the heartache that has lingered in our hearts since the 11th September 2001, the anniversary of this day should be used to reflect upon the human compassion and the kindness that came from the rubble. It’s a day to spend with loved ones and to remember that life can be cruel and can be short, but as long as we have hope, we have a spirit that cannot be crushed. This September 11th all the staff at Night and Day Medical Center will be thinking of those who gave their lives and those who need our continued support to help the wounds heal. We will never forget,