This is not a 9/11 post. Or maybe it is. I sit here, on my couch, 15 years later. A lot has changed since that day. That day that starts every conversation with "Do you remember where you were?" Everyone has a story. Everyone has a memory. Whether it was in the car, on the couch, in the classroom. It's that thing that connects all of us together.
The 15/16-year-olds of today weren't there for that memory. But they also don't know a world where we weren't fighting in a war. What does that tell you? Things changed, that's for sure. Security increased, violence increased, the threat of attacks increased. All the while, phones got smarter, internet got faster, people got older, buildings were rebuilt. And since that day, America has come together and come apart more often than it probably did before.
As a 31-year-old, it's fascinating to look back on what's transpired. Those days when we flew without worry. Those days when people didn't question other races and cultural groups. Those days when attacks were the furtherest thing from our minds. The America that was born out of 9/11 is the America we have. But I sit here, and I reflect on it.
Things seem more difficult than they did before. People are scared. People think things are terrible. Is there more or less hope for America since that day? I think there is more. I want to believe there is more. I think the outspoken nihilists are just talking louder than everyone else. I think people still have some good left in them. I think we need to stop looking at every news article we read on Facebook and instantly jumping to a "things are terrible" mindset. America will always be unfinished. America will always be a work in progress. And we have dark chapters and we have bright chapters. Our America is just like us - flawed, all-over-the-place, just trying to work things out.
Today is a day to reflect. it's a day to call your loved ones and tell them you love them. It's a day to sit in silence for a little bit. In a world where information comes at us constantly, maybe we take today to honor those lives lost. The men and women in the towers, on the planes, in the Pentagon. Those men and women who we remember.
Let's try to bring some love into the world today. Let's bet on love. Love to outlast the hate and the prejudice. Let's choose love, even if our first instinct is anger. Let's realize that there is so much more to us than our differences. Let's be better to each other. When the planes hit, most of us didn't jump to hate. We didn't criticize or judge. We called up the ones we loved. We held the ones we loved. We decided it was better to hold hands than to break bonds. We tried a little more. We loved a little more.
America isn't perfect. America isn't always easy. America makes mistakes. But it's this America that we have today. And we have a choice whether we are going to make it better, or if we're going to let it fall into ruin. We have a choice of whether we are going to work to see things change, or if we are going to throw our hands up and say it's over. We have a choice. Love is the choice. Hope is the choice. Change is the choice.
Love to all of you.