Hope Not Forgotten

Good morning from Westminster, MD!

Nineteen years ago today the world stood still in shock as the United States experienced an incredible tragedy. Unfathomably, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center Towers in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. The devastation could have been even greater if a brave group of heroes had not fought back against the terrorists on the plane that eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 lives were tragically lost and the world would never be the same.

I remember the moment well. I was sitting in a lecture hall at Towson University when a student yelled out that a plane had hit the Twin Towers. Initially, our professor believed it must have been a hoax, but this unthinkable event was confirmed when the administration announced that classes were canceled for the rest of the day due to safety concerns. I remember driving home wondering what exactly had happened and why. Upon arriving at home, while sitting at the breakfast bar in our kitchen, I watched the news as they confirmed that these were intentional acts of terror against our nation. The future no longer appeared certain. It was a dark day.

However, darkness can only be present when light is absent. Not long after the tragic day of September 11th, 2001, a light of hope began to emerge. What started as fear and despair turned into resolve and hope. Yes, the world was different but it was not over. From the darkness emerged a collective hope that would not be stopped. We were one nation with one goal- we would always remember those who were lost, and we would choose to live fully, honoring those who were not given that choice. What could have driven us into hopelessness became the catalyst for a new found hope.

I hold the same hope on this September 11th. We again find ourselves passing through a moment of darkness. We appear more fractured than ever. However, this moment of darkness could be the catalyst for a new beginning. As we did nineteen years ago, we could find hope for a new and better way forward. A way forward that brings us together and reminds us to live fully.

September 11th, 2001 taught us we are stronger united. We are stronger when we put aside our differences and pride, and choose to love each other well. We can choose to remember the lesson we learned from the lives that were lost, we can choose to live fully. We believed there was still hope on that tragic day. We can do the same today.

We will never forget.

James Belt

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