Tomorrow morning, at 8:46 EDT, we observe a grim anniversary.
It’s been nine years.
What must we learn?
The courage and sacrifice. All the brave men and women. Fire Captain Patrick (“Paddy”) Brown, on being told “Come back. It’s too dangerous in there,” responding “We got a job to do.”
The love and caring. Cell phone calls from the upper floors—recorded as voice messages—were filled with love and caring: “Remember that I’ll always love you.” “Tell the kids I love them.” Love. Not anger or bitterness. And certainly not fear.
The support and inclusiveness. On September 12th, 2001, the French newspaper Le Monde bannered the headline “Nous Sommes Tous Américains.” “We Are All Americans.” The editor wrote, “How can we not feel profound solidarity with those people, that country, the United States, to whom we are so close and to whom we owe our freedom, and therefore our solidarity?”
When we needed them, others were there.