17 years have passed and the mantra remains, ‘never forget’. Of course, I’ve not forgotten; nor will I. Millions converge on social media this day each year to spread the message, the memories, and the commemorations. I typically shy away from watching the many specials and documentaries that flood the airwaves, choosing instead to reflect for myself on what those final moments may have been like for the victims.
If I were to know that the flight I was taking the next day, the office space I was in, or my loved ones would face such a definitive and terrible fate, what would I do differently? What would I want to hear, see, touch, say, and experience one more time?
To hear the rain beat softly against my bedroom window.
To see the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower.
To touch the softness of my dog’s ears.
To say ‘I love you’.
To experience the thrill of a new place and the people in it.
Sometimes when I catch myself humming along to a new favorite song, taking in a new movie, or visiting a new travel destination, I think to myself how those that have gone before me will never get to experience it. Would they like it? Would it touch them the same way it has me? Would they understand that we are all the same; here to experience the joys and pains of life, no matter from where we come. I strive to never take for granted how fortunate I am to experience all that I have. Nor will I ever stop living life to the fullest.
Talk about this day, remember it. Call out the names, ring the bells. Live.
I’m not the only one. You’re not the only one. We are all made of stars.
‘Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place.’ – Iain Thomas