I spent a lot of today wondering what I would say here that has been said by everyone else writing about today. Yes, it is the 16th anniversary of the September 11th attack. Yes, we have been at war for the past 16 years. And yes, we should all stop and think about those that lost their lives in the attack, and those that have lost their lives in the actions since then.
But rather than reiterate what everyone else has already said, and given the current climate in our country, I will leave you with this thought:
Consider the motivations behind the attack on September 11th (which affected not just the United States, but the entire world). Whatever political, religious, economic, personal, reasons behind it, below all that was one thing: hate.
Love and hate are not opposites. Far from it. There effects, however, are.
Hate tears us apart. You can see that everywhere around the world, or even in your own community. Hate describes our differences as bad, as wrong, as something that should be fought against.
Love brings us together. Again, also seen around the world. Love celebrates our differences as things that can improve us all. Love allows us to understand each other, to appreciate each other, even if we don’t actually like each other.
These, though, are not the only two options. There is a third which, itself, is in fact the opposite of both love and hate: Indifference. Indifference allows love to wither and hate to thrive.
The next moment of silence, after remembering those for whom you’ve stopped, consider why it is that you’re there, at that moment, and then what you will do to change that.