9/11. If someone were to mention these two numbers before 2001, they would be just two numbers out of a sequence of natural numbers that are endless. Following the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, these two numbers hold immense meaning.
Although no current students at VHS lived through these tragic events, they live vicariously through the history of it. All human beings inevitably see the past through the lens of the present day. What I mean by this is there are a million different points of view of the day the planes hit the towers. No matter which lens one sees 9/11 through, no one doubts the severity of the tragedy.
Everyone is connected to 9/11 in some way or another. For me, my dad connects me to that day. He was one of approximately 19,000 looking for a way out of the towers. For others, it’s aunts, uncles, or friends that connect them to that day. When 9/11 rolls around every year, social media platforms fill with posts of lives lost, irreversible destruction, and valiant first responders.
9/11 inflicted so much damage on so many people, but everyone already knows the gritty details. Instead, I want to discuss 9/11 in a different light.
“If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate,” said Sandy Dahl, the wife of Flight 93 Pilot Jason Dahl. My mind can’t even begin to fathom the pain this woman endured on 9/11. But if she can see the good in the world after such a heinous event, can’t we all?
Life can disappear before us so quickly. So why not live with no regrets? Why not go out and say or do those things before we might not have the chance to? People are so held back by the fear of judgement or the fear of shame. But, really what’s the harm? Even if you walk away embarrassed, nothing lasts forever. That’s the beauty of time. Everything eventually fades. Pride gets in the way of a lot of potentially meaningful moments. Be kind. Be vulnerable. Be compassionate. Live life as if you’re not guaranteed tomorrow.