A year ago November, I visited the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in Downtown Manhattan. And I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.
There was a lot of somber remembrances, this is for sure. But this wasn’t what took me aback.
Let’s flash back to 2011 after the tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa. After touring the Bryant Museum for the first time after the storm, I was stunned by how much love and support Tuscaloosa received from all over the world.
Take that love and support, and multiply it by a factor of a lot, and you’ve got what New York got after the attacks of 2001.
I’ve seen a lot of Downtown Manhattan over the course of the last year. This is where I go every month for coach training.
Two months ago I stayed at a hotel merely a stone’s throw from the re-built World Trade Center and right next to the 9/11 Memorial. What I saw knocked me out.
Don’t get me wrong, the new building itself is stunning. All modern and truly beautiful. But the building wasn’t what took me out. The insane view from the WTC observatory wasn’t even the most remarkable thing to me.
And don’t get me wrong, the view was incredible.
While much of downtown New York has been rebuilt, there’s one thing that hasn’t.
There were tons of huge, gaping cracks and holes in the surrounding streets and sidewalks from where the buildings fell that fateful day. To say I was stunned was a pretty big understatement.
This goes to show that while she’s gotten a new paint job, some lifts and tucks here and there, and a new dress – Apple’s heart will never be the same.
The world’s heart will never be the same.
I have been amazed by just how much you can still feel the souls of those lost that Tuesday morning some fifteen years ago. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters – humans…taken away in a heartbeat.
I’d like to echo those who say “Never Forget” when it comes to 9/11. But instead of coming from a place of anger and fear, I’d like to propose something else.
Let’s remember the love, support, and sense of community that came out of the horrific events of that day. Let’s remember how we banded together as one.
On that date we were human. We weren’t labeled. We were human. We were Americans.
We were one.
More than the shiny new buildings and the broken sidewalks and streets in lower Manhattan, let’s remember the words of President Lincoln: “A nation divided against itself cannot stand.”
I may be dreaming here. I may be dreaming of a world that will never again exist. But in the words of 20th century philosopher John Winston Lennon “You may say I'm a dreamer. But I'm not the only one. I hope someday you'll join us. And the world will be as one.”
Love somebody today. Let that be the legacy of 9/11.