Every year I search for the right words. Every year I fall short.
I took this picture two years ago -- the reflection of The Freedom Tower on the other buildings took my breath away. It still does. So much power in that light. So much power in that reflection. Sixteen years ago and so much of that day is reflected in the here and now.
Sixteen years ago doesn't make the pain any less.
Sixteen years ago, and the memories have not faded. They're still vibrant. They're still there - cause it still feels like yesterday.
I remember what I wore. A red shirt and blue jean jacket and khaki pants so light they looked like they were white.
I remember being in a history class - ironic, isn't it? Learning history and living history all tangled at once.
I remember the sound on the speakers. Planes, they said. Something's wrong, they said. We're not sure what yet, they said. Stay calm, they said. Don't panic, they said.
I remember the panic. People kept their panic inside. It was quiet at first, and then it was bursts of terror bubbling over - spilling into conversations, spilling out of mouths, spilling over eyelids as the tears never stopped.
I remember funerals and funerals and more tears and more funerals.
I remember the goodness of others. The loved we shared. We gave love to one another constantly. Freely. Without reservation or judgement. We hoped love would fill the broken pieces of shattered hearts. I still hope and believe in that good. In that love. I don't know how not to.
They say #neverforget - and I know I never will. Quite frankly I can't forget that day - it's the before I have trouble with sometimes. Before the world was knocked off its axis. Before terror became an everyday part of speech - that's tough to remember.
So take a quiet moment today, and remember.
Remember the before.
And then remember the fallen.
Remember the heroes.
Say their names, and honor their memories, their bravery, their goodness and their love with your actions - cause we are in infinite need of goodness and love.