Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Silent Tribute

Yesterday was the ninth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. I remember waking up very early that Tuesday morning in Los Angeles to prepare for a school presentation. Right after getting out of bed, I turned on the TV and watched Katie Couric and Matt Lauer discuss a fire at the World Trade Center in NYC. Within minutes, I watched the second plane barrel into the second tower and witnessed America change forever. As the day went on, the tragedy continued -- skyscrapers collapsed and later more loss and destruction at the Pentagon in Washington, DC and a lonely field in Pennsylvania.

I've visited New York several times now and have yet to stir up the courage to visit Ground Zero. Not sure I ever will. However when they opened the Pentagon Memorial, I knew I could avoid it no longer. This city that I have grown to love and call home was violated nine years ago and my fellow neighbors and friends suffered great losses and continue to mourn. The least I could do was visit this peaceful, simple memorial and pay tribute to those lost and the friends and loved ones left behind. Between the tears, I took a few photos like the one I share today. Even after all this time, I can still recall the memorial's silence, its empty chairs, its haunting absence.

During my visit there I became even more sure that for us to move forward as Americans, as a country, we must face the past, embrace the present and build a better, more loving future for humankind. We can change the world by becoming the change we'd like to see happen. We can change the world by teaching our children about the past while empowering them to create a more peaceful tomorrow. We can make a better world right now. It just starts with you and me not allowing fear, prejudice and injustice change our intrinsic goodness, our greatness, our soul.

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