I had just dropped my class of 21 children off at music when I walked by a group of teachers huddled around a television with blank stares. I watched the second plane hit the World Trade Center. I still don't know what a mind does to process this (our minds weren't designed to process an act like this - I am sure). I imagine the majority of us who remember where we were when we learned about the devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11 still process these thoughts on this day.
Our school was put on immediate lock down, as were most around the country that day. I went back to my classroom of future world changers and had to look them in the eye and be strong. They had no idea how their world had been changed in the blink of an eye. I only knew something very horrific had just happened.
As the minutes and hours passed, in the midst of devastating loss and chaos, something happened - to millions of people. They became heroes. From the farthest ends of the world, and from EVERY SINGLE CITY in the United States, people who learned of the attacks said, "What can I do? How can I help?" MILLIONS of people - let that number sink in for a second - ranging in age were moved to action.
Never have I seen such community, such empathy, such an outpouring of total love for others who had never met happen around the world. We saw each other in our rawest, most vulnerable form of heartache for others and it didn't define us, our choice to rise and lift others is what defined us that day and in the days following.
This goodness, this beauty, is what we're made of. This community, this understanding that we are all connected and we have the ability to really help others - all the time - is what we honor. Suffering is not acceptable and injustice will never win. The choice to create beautiful, grow love, and make this world a better place was overwhelmingly screamed from the rooftops of homes around the world that day; yes, there was smoke, but what rose from those embers was a love for each other that drowns out hate. Always bring the love.