Today marks the anniversary of one of the most significant days in American history. It’s almost easy to forget that prior to this day, America had once stood alone as the premiere nation. Whether or not you agree that it was the “best” place to live, there was no doubt that it was the most powerful nation in the world, and the sway that we, as a nation, held was unmatched. However, when the World Trade Centers were hit thirteen years ago, America learned that it could not only be attacked, but hurt. We were blitzed, and in a panicked frenzy it became clear to us, and the world, that we were mortal.
This is a lesson that every human being has to learn at one point or another. People naturally believe that they are invincible. Although there’s pain, hurt and death in the world, people believe that they are inherently special and set apart, and thus they conclude (consciously or subconsciously) that these things will never happen to them. People die in car accidents, but it will never happen to me. People are attacked and robbed at night, but it will never happen to me. Psychologist David Elkind described this complex as the “personal fable”. But this complex will inevitably crumble, and when it does, we need to learn how to get back up.
When I visited New York a few weeks back, I had the chance to visit Ground Zero and while I was there something in particular stuck out to me. In the memorial exhibit, you could see one of the last remaining pillars and on it, firefighters and heros from 9-11 were honored by loved ones. Although we were attacked, this pillar, which represented the people who sacrificed their lives in response to this tragedy, showed that we would never fall. Today, at Ground Zero, over the ruins we can find the Freedom Tower, the fourth tallest building in the world. You will get hit in life, that’s inevitable. But the important thing is to endure through those points and to come out stronger. This is true, whether you’ve experienced a traumatic home robbery[i], whether you’ve experienced a close death, or whether you’ve only experienced a trying season in life.
If you’ve experienced any hardship and would like to share how you cope, or if you would just like to remember a loved one today, please leave a comment below. But before you do so, please take a few moments with me to remember the people who died 13 years ago.
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