In remembrance

Jamie and I have been watching September 11th features on television all week. It has been a sobering reminder of all that happened to change our world. It’s amazing how someone like me who didn’t know anyone who died and who isn’t even American could still feel personally impacted.

I was working as an event manager at Deseret Book’s corporate offices in Salt Lake City on September 11, 2001. I’d heard about the first attack before going to work and by the time I arrived, people were glued to the televisions in the ZCMI Center’s Food Court. I still remember how surreal it felt to watch it unfold, like you had front-row seats in a horror movie that didn’t end when the lights came back on.

When I was in New York City last summer, I went to Ground Zero. There wasn’t much to see and I guess that’s the point. The site was under reconstruction but one photo I snapped of the many efforts to rebuild still resonates today.

Maybe it’s the optimist in me but I sincerely do not believe the world is inherently bad. Watching the many inspiring stories to come out of the dust testify to that. Last week, the Washington Post interviewed some of the world’s most influential religious leaders about faith in a post-attack world.

“It seems that much of the post-9/11 renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed,” writes Thomas Monson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “It should not require tragedy for us to remember God.”

Rabbi David Wolpe writes, “Faith can be turned to evil when people believe that God’s word is made as small as a resentful heart. Faith can be as large as the sky and healing as a lover’s touch when we understand that God wishes goodness.”

“Two of the victims who died in the airplanes that crashed into the twin towers were coming to see me,” writes Deepak Chopra. “Looking back, I feel now the way I did back then, 10 years ago. Catastrophes are not a form of divine punishment, a test from God, evidence of sin, or secret messages from beyond. They are part of our divided world, and such a world reflects our divided self.”

T.D. Jakes writes that the lessons of 9/11 are hidden in plain sight. Among them: “We’ve neglected to comprehend that there is more that unites than separates us.”

To see all the essays, be sure to go here.

And remember.

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