I’ve been a lot of places. They were pretty and hot and cold and sandy and dusty and breath-taking. But it is something altogether incomparable and surreal to be standing in a place that has changed everything.
Right here, in this exact spot, people have wept. People have prayed. People have died.
And I’ve stood there. Just thinking. But with so many thoughts and feelings I couldn’t pick any to focus on. It was easier to stare into the water.
Did you know 2997 people lost their lives that day. 90 nations were represented in those lives. An 85-year-old died that day. And so did a two-year-old.
I was reading the names engraved in the edges of the fountain when I was there. It’s crazy to think that these names had stories. Lots of stories. And they had family. And they had hopes and fears and stresses and ambitions. They had churches and hobbies and dads and kids and friends.
I didn’t know any of them. In an alternate ending, maybe my future life’s path would’ve once crossed with one of theirs.
For me, this is a place that’s hard to accept. The magnitude and the sheer infinite feeling of standing in that place, it wasn’t something I could bottle up and hold in front of me to look at. I wanted to. I wanted to be able to grasp it, like in my hand, and just internalize everything in a clear manner.
The September 11 Memorial site is the most extraordinary place I have ever been. It’s a like a pandemonium of life and death and memory and love and struggle and faith. But with a frosting of peace. A strange serenity that, when you stand there, you just have to thank God for.
To everyone and anyone who feels the pain in this day… me, too.
To the veterans, the service members, and the every day heroes… thank you.
And for the world and the next generation and the next… #neverforget. It’s too important.