There are times in our lives which leave an indelible mark upon our memory. September 11, 2001 is a poignant example of such a time. I can still readily draw forth the stunned shock of the moment the tragedy became real for me. Today, ten years later, I am gathering with many of my community to celebrate our tribute to 9/11 and the positive impact of the choices we have made to take steps forward.
On 9/11/11, we joined the Flags on the 48 and raised our American flag in honor of all the people who dedicate their lives to making a better community and country. We are privileged to be a part of a community which chooses to respond to this tragedy by giving honor to the sacrifices of the many lost and the many left behind with tremendous wounds upon their hearts. The emotional surge of grief is part of the remembrance and dedication, but so to is the swell of pride and hope as we choose to honor the past while creating a community bound by hope and a determination to emphasize the positives within humanity.
On 9/12, one day after our hike, we will gather at the 99 Restaurant in Nashua, NH ostensibly to partake of a 2020 Vision Quest Fund Raiser. We’ll celebrate and commemorate the events of our hike and the powerful meanings behind so many of the experiences which have led to this point. We’ll feast and drink and watch the New England Patriots open their NFL season on Monday Night Football. If you join us and present the form below to your server, 15% of your bill will be donated to our 501(c)(3) organization.
But there is a more important purpose behind our gathering. The celebration of people coming together will demonstrate the power of community. We will share our grief and our hopes. We will remind ourselves that we may influence many aspects of our lives and, most powerfully of all, that we may always choose the manner in which we will respond to any event within our lives. The power of that choice will have a greater impact upon our lives than any event could ever have. As we did on our Flags on the 48 hike and in our 9/11 response, we choose to take positive steps forward. To quote Robert Frost in the closing of his famous poem about choices on diverging roads: “That has made all the difference.”