Sunday, September 11, 2011
September 11th, 2001. It was the worst display of humanity ever witnessed, yet on that same day, we also saw the best display. I know this because my sweet Aunt Maria was in the thick of it and I will never forget the few things she told me. After being trapped in an office building six blocks away and thinking she along with her co-workers was going to die, she walked a path with thousands in solidarity through a war zone and across the Brooklyn Bridge.
On a rare occasion when she talked about that day, she never mentioned the evilness and destruction. What was most memorable was the kindness and love she was wrapped in. "Everyone was your friend and neighbor"....People helping others, lifting them over and through the rubble. Men and women at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge helping others up and over the guard rails. Taxis and boats shuttling New Yorkers over to Brooklyn or New Jersey. On that day, there was no Black, White, Hispanic, Jewish, Christian or Muslim, just fellow humans....People going above and beyond the call of duty helping strangers.
I saw hope in my Aunt's brief recollections and still get teary when I think about them. I often wonder if we were attacked by aliens, would we band together as one planet like the thousands of people who did that day in lower Manhattan??? Would we set aside our hatred and work together united by what makes us the same and not what makes us different? It sound unimaginable, but so did 9/11. I keep that hope that I have drawn from the kindness displayed on that horrific day in my heart. And although I am so very sad and angry(mostly sad), I try to let go of any hatred and retribution I might feel, because hope feels so much better.