Today is September 11th, and it is the eleventh anniversary of the saddest day of my adult life. Not because I lost a friend, a co-worker or a family member but because we lost 2,997 citizens whose promise never came to fruition. Whose lives were cut short simply by a twist of fate. Not by any act they had committed or words they had spoken. Simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time. And we can never know what might have been because all of those might-have-beens died in the flames and rubble.
If Kevin Bacon is correct and we are all connected through six degrees of separation, then the loss of those 2,997, is also the loss of millions of acts of kindness, millions of acts of paying it forward, millions of utterances of encouragement. Paintings we will never look upon, songs we will never hear, victories we will never know, and faces we will never see again at family gatherings.
And because of the loss of those 2,997 young men and women stood up and went to fight the good fight, sometimes returning but too often not. More might-have-beens we will never know.
And I mourn the loss of those never to be known futures, those lives cut short, that promise never realized. And I pray that I will never forget and always remember. And I pray that God continues to bless those souls who we lost and those who have found a way to continue on without them.