Eleven years later, we still mourn. We remember the pain and anguish of fear, uncertainty, and loss with such clarity. We reminisce about exactly where we were when we first heard the news, what we were doing, and who we called first when we picked up the phone. We tend to do those things when pivotal moments shake the foundation of our understanding of the world in which we live.
I share many of the emotions of the day as expressed by my family and friends on Facebook today. (It’s funny how we curse the impersonalization of Social Media and the Internet and yet on days like today, it is a venue for us to feel a sense of community!)
Collectively, we’ve learned so much about ourselves and what’s important. Each year we feel a sense of renewed commitment to live with intention, demonstrate grace and kindness toward others, and practice gratitude for the extraordinary gift of our ordinary lives.
But each year I am reminded once again of what 9/11 taught me about being a parent. My oldest was just settling into his freshman year at the University of Maryland. I was struggling with the realization that he was no longer at home under the “protection” of our love and guidance…..that he was now free to make his way in a world that (even pre-9/11) was filled with uncertainty and struggle.
Ironically, just a few weeks after the tragedy of 9/11, a tornado touched down on the UM campus and several students were killed. I recall frantically trying to reach my son to assuage my fear.
But after eleven years and hundreds of pivotal moments in my life as a parent, I know one thing to be true–
We can’t truly protect our children.
We can only love them.
And on this day (and every day)….I do.
In memory for those who lost their lives on September 11th and in honor of the parents who loved them.