Death. That’s what most people see when they look back on history. They see all of the countless lives lost in wars, sickness, hunger, and hatred. They look at broken ideology and corruption. The see a world in need. A world that is broken. A world that needs saving.
The thing most people tend to lose in numbers is the identity of the victims. Typically the bad guys, the terrorists, the murderers, are remembered for their crimes. Yet while the family and friends of those who were directly will never be able to forget, the world tends to move on. On a day like today, the 15th anniversary of the attacks on Sept 11th, it is important to honor those who lost their lives. It is important to remember that in the midst of terror there were those who were innocent. There were those who rushed in to save others. There were heroes of all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, ages, and socioeconomic status.
Yet today on a day when we remember heroes and lives lost it is also important to remember that the world we live in is still broken. There is still war, hunger, sickness, and hatred. There are still heroes, but there are also still those in need. It is said that those who don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. While it might be impossible to fix the world all at once, how much better would the world be if everyone made it a little better everyday? Most people on September 11th, 2001 didn’t go into the day expecting it to be a historical day. Yet on the day people rose up to do extraordinary acts. While I hope that those circumstances aren’t repeated anytime soon, I hope people continue to do extraordinary things on ordinary days. Who knows maybe next year we’ll be able to celebrate the end of hunger or the end of some kind of sickness.