We all have those stories, the stories that tell where we were the moment we learned our country was under attack. Some of us were at work far from our families and worried for them, some of us were home with our children as we held them a little tighter, some of us were in uniforms across the country and the world and were ready and willing to stand up to the dangers, some of us were children in a classroom suddenly silent. Too many of us were unwittingly in the path of hatred, madness and destruction. All of us were stopped in our tracks and unalterably changed by the losses we suffered.  As a country we gathered around our televisions, held each other tight and watched the world as we knew it change.

Despite how you feel about current or former political situations in our Country, we all must acknowledge the significance of this day. September 11, 2001 irrevocably changed the world.  Acknowledging this day does not mean we live in fear or sadness nor does it mean we are in any way honoring the actions of terrorists. We need to celebrate the lives of those we lost and honor the American Heroes that offered (and continue to offer) their lives for the defense of their Country. We need to take a moment today to be thankful that the terrorist did not win, we are still here and still moving forward. Most importantly, we need to remember the lesson we learned that day; we are strongest when we are united. United does not mean we always agree, but it does mean that we always honor and respect each other and it means that our unity is always more important than the trivial things that divide us. Today should, if nothing else, remind us of the importance of loving our neighbors and living in community.  Love should be the message in all of our hearts today.

We were put on this planet to love each other, something that is not easy when there are so many areas of division in our culture and in our hearts. On a day like today we must all acknowledge a certain truth; those divisions are ultimately pointless. We do not need to agree with a person to love them, if we did love would prove impossible. We are all unique, there has never been and will never be another soul in this world exactly like you. Or exactly like me. That is astounding and makes the preciousness of life all the more real. We get caught up in the day to day aspects of life; work, kids, responsibilities and desires and we forget why we are here in the first place. If we all do nothing else today to honor the memory of 9/11 we should at least love one another. We lost almost 3,000 lives on 9/11 and many more since then in the Middle East and around the world. Imagine what the world would look like if we all committed ourselves to doing at least 3,000 acts of love for someone in our community.  Maybe that is too tangible a goal when discussing something as immense as loving our neighbors.  Maybe our goal should be to live each and every day of our lives trying to show enough love to each other that we are all at least 3,000 times stronger. I do not know what the answer is, all I know is that love is now and forever the answer, no matter the question, the answer is love.