Today is 9/11. That simple statement can bring tears to the eyes of anyone who was capable of comprehension on that day twelve years ago. As everyone who remembers that day, I can completely recall all of it - where I was, who I was with, how I first heard of the horrors...
Our children were only four (almost five), and three, and we were at my parents - my parents who remember where they were when they heard of Pearl Harbor (real time reporting wasn't upon us then), and here was another man-made tragedy unfolding immediately upon us.
I don't speak often of my faith. To me, it's a private thing. But I believe, and I use those beliefs as I navigate an often unfair world, and as I try to raise our children. I don't use my faith as a reason to exclude or to hate. I have difficulty with those concepts. Why would you want to worship a deity who tells you to despise or murder or protest as a way to push your hate? (Hey, Westboro Baptist - those last words were aimed right at you.) Why is it so easy for them to remember the verses they use to hate with, and so hard to remember the 'don't judge', and 'love thy neighbor' ones?
I've seen hatred aimed incorrectly. We all have. Some use the internet, and hide behind screen names, and comment pages to call others idiots, fools, and worse. May each of us learn from the evils not to hate, but to accept, to care, to try.
And thank you to every soldier, to every first responder who tries to stand between us and hate. And may every survivor have love, and peace in their grief.