‘Why A Moment Of Silence’ [AUDIO]
The year after the tragic events on September 11, 2001, I wrote and read on the air my thoughts on remembering that day.
I still believe, as we mark the tenth anniversary of that day, that these words still ring true. In some ways, I think they are even more meaningful all these years later because none of us can get that day, or its horrible memories, out of our consciousness.
Please understand this is not to re-hash any of the tragedy, it is merely my thoughts on what we can all take from that day and how we can use it to inspire ourselves and each other. I hope you find it useful, if not cathartic.
You can listen here, and if you choose, read along.
Why a Moment of Silence?
by Sean McMaster
September 11, 2002
This morning we will all participate in a moment of silence. As a nation, we will take a minute out of our busy lives and reflect on the events of September 11, 2001. Some of us will think about where we were when we heard or saw the tragic events unfold on televisions and radios. Maybe realizing that the shock of that day still lingers in our hearts and minds, a shock that protects us from the images and feelings we may never be ready to deal with. Others will think about the thousands of friends and family members who are not ready to deal with those images and feelings but they had no choice. Their hearts their minds their lives were brutally changed forever…in a heartbeat…in less time than we will spend this morning in silence.
For those people, those so closely effected, what they will be thinking I will never try to imagine. I can only wish them some peace, some understanding, some love. I know to them, the lives of their loved ones will always matter. They will always live on within them. Their lives were intertwined. A part of them will always remain with them. A sweet memory of a day at the lake, a father’s warm embrace, the smell of mom’s cookies… the very inspiration that is love. At least that, they will always have and always hold onto.
While the death of their loved ones was so pointless, so random so much in vain, their lives were not pointless, not random and were not in vain.
That’s what I want to think about today. Not the deaths, but the lives. The stories, the inspirations that we can all borrow from the incredible people that were lost that day. And by doing that, we like their loved ones, can do our part to keep the bright light of their life burning.
Maybe during that moment of silence, we can think about the firemen that entered the building time and again to save someone weaker than themselves, knowing each time could be their last. Maybe we can think about him, and try to give more to those who are not as strong as we are.
Maybe we can remember the brave men who rose above their fears and challenged the terrorists on that plane in Pennsylvania. Maybe we can remember their bravery and overcome some of our own fears. Leave that bad relationship or stand up to that school bully or to face our own adversities head on.
Maybe we can take that moment to think about the husband or wife who after realizing they were not getting out of that tower, and even while smoke was overtaking them, they took the time to use their cell phone and got a busy signal or no answer. And if we remember them, we may pick up our own phone and tell someone how much they mean to us…how much they are loved.
Maybe if we take that moment of silence and reflect on every one of those people, those people no different than us, who just went to work one day or just took a flight for business or just to go home. People who thought they had so much time left. Thought they could follow that dream tomorrow or ask that girl out tomorrow or take their kids fishing tomorrow or visit that relative tomorrow. Maybe if we really take that moment, we will make our tomorrow, today.
Maybe if we think about these things, and allow the lives of those lost to touch ours, to intertwine with ours, to inspire us, they will live within us for all the todays that we have left.
And while those terrorists can revel in the fact that they killed tens of thousands of lives that day, while they celebrate their message of fear tears and death, you and I can revel in the fact that those thousands didn’t completely die that day, they were not extinguished, they are inside us every day reminding us to live, to embrace each other, and to celebrate life.
As long as that message is ringing inside us, the message the terrorists wanted to send will not. And they, are beaten.