Commentary: As Time Passes, How Will We Think About 9/11?

September 20, 2017
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Opinion by Lisa Luckett |

Each year, the anniversary of 9/11 is a heavy day that weighs on us all. For everyone who was age 4 or more, you can remember the details of exactly where you were and what you were doing on that fateful morning when the planes hit the World Trade Center towers, The Pentagon, and crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All it takes is the mention of 9/11 in a conversation, or seeing an image on television, and that memory comes back to you in an instant.

But here’s a crazy statistic. This year, September 2017, anyone entering freshman year in high school wasn’t even on the planet yet. A complete generation of people has been born since September 11, 2001. This next generation, the children of tomorrow, only know 9/11 as a story. Could that be a good thing?

Maybe now, enough time has passed that we can begin to see 9/11 in a new light. Maybe now we can decide to let go of our fear and see instead the beauty that surrounds us. Maybe now we can give ourselves permission to heal and move forward with a new courage, strength and knowl- edge gained from life experience. Maybe now we can see that life is for the living. That we are not dishonoring or disrespecting our dead by moving forward as long as we do it with greater understanding and deeper wisdom having grown and learned from the experience.

Because 16 years later, the question is, are we better for having lived it? Are we smarter? Are we wiser? Do we have more depth of character? What have we learned?

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It is with heartfelt love, respect, and honor for my husband Teddy Luckett, and all those who perished on 9/11, that I have been searching for meaning and a way to make something good come from this nightmare. I vowed within days of 9/11 that I would never let them die in vain. I promised to spend my life searching for answers to the ‘why’ of everything.

While this will always be a day for quiet reflection, when you hug those closest to you with grat- itude and appreciation, while remembering the tragic event that shook us to our core and changed our lives forever, that you also remember that in that dark, dark hour, deep and profound love was right there, too.

So, I ask you that for this year’s anniversary of 9/11, let it be a day to remember how much we have (because we have so much). Let it be a day to remind ourselves that we have a choice in how we see our lives – through a lens of love or through a lens of fear. Let it be a day to remember that we are strong and far more resilient than we think. Let it be a day to be brave and honorable and kind. Let it be a day of forgiveness, love and kindness for everyone, but mostly for yourself.

Lisa Luckett
Fair Haven

This article was first published in the Sept. 7-14, 2017 print edition of The Two River Times.

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