I read a column asking about how much 9-11 had changed us.
It has not changed me in as much as it has inspired me to be better
informed and to learn more about the world we live in and its people.
I have much more respect for first responders, firefighters, EMTs and policemen.
Although I have always had respect for them on that day my respect for them
grew hundreds of times over.
This past week when authorities were put on alert for a Sept. 11 anniversary
terror threat, I worried more about "a lone actor," with a dirty bomb rather
than an extremely complicated plot like the airliners attacks.
I haven't allowed it to change the way I live,
and have traveled across the country,
throughout Latin America and in and out of Mexico since then.
If a terrorist were to attack and I were to succumb to it in anyway,
then I would simply believe it had been the fate of my creator to
take me home that day.
I do feel that 9-11 has brought us together and taught us to be kinder,
and more compassionate to one another.
Since that day I have become more spiritual and grew closer to my creator.
More people have in the years since have come to learn more about Islam.
It has taught me that there is still evil in this world,
but I will not and can't respond in kind.
To challenge whatever animosity,
hatred and discriminatory emotions that others may have in their hearts and call
them out on it.
It has challenged me in the flow of realization
that Faith doesn't give one a certain "meaning of life,"
rather Faith gives us a way of seeing that life has meaning,
No matter how complicated that may be.
It has taught me the value of treasuring every
moment with my loved ones, time spent with my friends and getting to
know our neighbors better.
We actually have neighborhood pot-lucks, wine tastings
(our next door neighbor a chemist makes his own),
neighborhood watch parties and night out events.
I will forever remember to honor those who fell on that day,
I've promised to do all I can to celebrate their memory by my actions
with visits to Veteran's homes, giving generously to the Fallen Warrior
project and the 9-11 Memorial.
Visit the National Veteran's cemetery more often and speak and try and be
there for the fallen's families.
To help work for a Peace that is lasting, to continue to write my politicians,
and our President to bring all of our troops home.
To remember that out of tragedy, sometimes change and good can come forth.
That we must rise to the challenges that as a nation now confront us,
to work to lift us from the shadows of that unimaginable and tragic day.
To pray - to live, to love more and to help myself and others grow.
Make it a great dia!