Remembering when the world changed

At 8:48 a.m. on this day in 2001, life in the United States changed forever. It hurts to look back, but it hurts will more if we don’t.

That morning, I sat in my home office, working away on a book project. I heard the first announcement about the “accident in New York” on the radio. As I continued working, more details emerged and the nightmare unfolded. Fear and anger welled up. I worried about my children — what would I tell them about this day?

The reporter side of my mind remembered how conflicted and sick I felt when I was upset because my morning newscast didn’t have any interesting accidents or deaths to report. (That’s ultimately why I left news reporting — I couldn’t live with thoughts like “If only someone got shot last night… that would give me an interesting story.”)

Just a few months after that, I flew into New York for a trade show. As I looked across the familiar skyline, I realized that I wasn’t seeing the World Trade Center. Oh, yeah… the buildings that aren’t there any more. And the memories of the day replayed through my mind once again.

As you go through today, pause and remember where you were those few years ago today, then do something defiantly kind and loving in memory of those we lost.

We needn’t rely on tragedy to bring us together. Let’s build community and friendship because we want to.


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