I remember exactly where I was. I was in school in Carbondale, Illinois. I walked into into the room where my study group met only to find it empty. There seemed to be a crowd gathering in the student lounge, though. Just as I was walking in, a classmate was walking out. Tears filled his eyes. I asked what was wrong. He responded that the Pentagon had been bombed. His father worked at the Pentagon, and as of that moment, he did not know if his father was okay.
I went into the student lounge and watched in horror along with my classmates. While my friend didn’t have the details exactly right, he gave me the gist. Terrorists had attacked our country and people were dying. Our country would never be the same.
Every year, there are blog posts and facebook posts, and business signs that remember and honor those who died and those who served. I want to add my voice to theirs. I want to remember those who lost their lives and those who saved others. I am praying for those who lost loved ones on that day twelve years ago. I know that the pain never goes away. We surround the surviving families with love and empathy.
This country is not perfect. We are fractured and divided, and at times, misguided. But I love the fact that we can put aside our differences to mourn and give honor where it is due.
So as we pause twelve years later to mourn the loss of nearly 3,000 lives, we do so with compassion. We pray. We honor. We remember.