Remembering 9/11

Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons

Public domain photo from Wikimedia Commons

Well, I definitely know that – that love is the most powerful thing of all and I remember thinking that – God, I’m about to make myself cry but, I remember thinking that when 9/11 happened because those last phone calls were about – the last thing knowingly, that I’m going to say on this earth is “I love you”. What’s more powerful than that? What’s more proof than that? Beyond fear, beyond death.

This one stuck with me. In all the ceremonies, rememberances, flag-waving, terrorist-hunting, crying, grieving, vengeance-seeking, forgiving and rebuilding that has happened since 9/11, this quote is the one, I think, that means the most. We can get lost in the bigger ideals of heroes dying for their country, of small people making grand sacrifices in the face of terror, of people who knew there was no chance they were going to survive doing something heroic to save others, but it all boils down to this. Those heroes on a flight in Pennsylvania, though doing something heroic, were thinking of their families in those last minutes. The firefighters rushing into a burning building were thinking about how it could just as easily have been their wife/mother/brother/father/sister/husband at the top of that tower. And no one in the Twin Towers or on a plane destined for fire and destruction called to tell their dad he didn’t spend enough time with them, or tell off that bully down the street who tormented them, or let that boss know how much of a jerk he was. All those calls, every single one, was a cry for help or an ‘I love you’. It was goodbye, it was keep going, it was if I haven’t told you enough, there’s no more time, so know that I loved you with all my heart.

So on this 9/11, and every one after, do the thing that almost 3000 people will never get another chance to do: Say ‘I love you’.


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