In Remembrance of September 11 Attacks (20 Years Later)

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the loss of nearly 3000 people.

Most of us can remember exactly where we were when that first plane hit the twin towers. Some of us have very personal memories of family or friends impacted by the attacks. The stories of those who died or lost loved ones have become a part of our shared history.

But what else do we remember from that day? What are the things that still stand out and command our attention two decades later?

One thing that stands out for me is how communities across the country came together; united in uncertainty and overwhelming support of one another. United through resilience, kindness and compassion. It was clear in that moment that the loss of one American is a loss for the entire country.

Throughout the last year and a half, I have witnessed the same thing I noticed from afar 20 years ago: first responders answering the call of duty selflessly. Health care professionals working tirelessly to care for patients. Community members showing compassion and support for one another.

I invite you to take a moment in silence to think about the thousands of lives lost. What I know deep within my heart is that just as we have endured great loss together in the past, we continue to come together to rise to the challenge of the hardships we together face today.

As September 11, 2001, becomes a distant memory, history is still being made each day — by all of us. By the way we live our lives. By the way we conduct ourselves in difficult times. By how willing we are to put the needs of others before our own.

9/11 is forever engraved in our history. But how we respond to its impact is still being written, 20 years later. Now, it is our history to make. Healing happens collectively. We heal as communities, we heal as a country, we heal as an organization.


Donna Hefner