Seventeen years ago today, a group of men with evil intentions hijacked four planes and destroyed the World Trade Center, a section of the Pentagon, and would have hit the White House had it not been for a group of brave citizens.
It was a time of immense sadness for our nation, and one of the few moments that has ever unified the country in any meaningful sense. We mourned the loss of our fellow Americans and sought vengeance against the perpetrators. However, amid all the sadness comes one truth that we all-to-often overlook: Out of the ashes of 9/11 came the absolute best humanity had to offer.
In a moment of pure, undeniable terror and confusion, brave first responders ran into a smoking, burning, and eventually collapsed building to rescue total strangers. They could have turned and run alongside their fellow man, but they didn’t. They ran headfirst into a scenario they could never have imagined. And some of them gave their lives for it.
That’s why it’s important to remember not just the sadness of the day. We don’t just need to feel anger at our enemies. We need to feel a sense of pride that our nation rose to the challenge and unified, however briefly, to stand for our own and against a common enemy.
In times like the present, when division and anger are at an all-time high, it’s important for us to remember that there is good within us that we can achieve. There is a purpose, a sense of right and honor, that pushes many of us forward daily.
It may not be the kind of good that causes you to run into a burning, smoking, or collapsed building and risk your life, but it is the kind of good that allows you to overcome evil on a daily basis. That is something we are called to be, and it is something we should strive to achieve.
If it is only for a moment today, remember the good in humanity. Remember what we and you are capable of. That is how we continue to win and show we are better than our enemies.
Honor the fallen, and strive to be the best humanity has to offer.