I remember when 9/11 was simply a date on the calendar. That all changed eight years ago. The seemingly insignifcant numbers have come to represent the horrifying events that took place on September 11, 2001. We now speak of them with a hushed reverence and silent tribute to the lives that were lost and prayers for those that were left behind.
However, along with the awful tragedy we also witnessed heroism, worldwide compassion and a unity that is unforgettable.
As I sit at my desk quietly remembering that day and the days that follow, my heart both aches for the losses and swells with pride as I remember the many acts of heroism during, and after the attacks by both those in uniform and ordinary citizens. The many people who in the face of shock, anger, and fear simply chose to lead, serve and do.
I pray that none of us ever have to rise to a challenge like 9/11 or any of the other horrible terrorist attacks that have taken place across the world, but we all have the opportunity to be a hero in our everyday lives.
In his book, Be the Hero, Noah Blumenthal writes:
“Everyday heroes don’t always succeed, but they consistently act on the belief that they can do something to improve their situations and those of the people around them.” (pg. 2)
While Blumenthal’s book is not at all about 9/11, his assertion that “You can choose your response to everyday events that might disappoint, furstrate or anger you – to react in a way that casts off the victim mentality and enables you to act with a hero’s resolve,” aptly describes the heroes of 9/11.
Quite simply, being a hero starts with thinking like one.
Today, is a National Day of Service and Rememberance . A day when we can choose to honor the memories of the lives lost by choosing to be an everyday hero. I believe that this is a most fitting tribute, don’t you?
Do you have any hero stories of your own to share? What does being the hero mean to you?