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Guest column — On that day …

Daniel Paul

This poem is dedicated to all who lost their lives and were wounded on 9/11/2001, including the first responders, families, our armed forces, and for all others affected by the tragedy of that day. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers.

On that day, families awoke and made ready for another day at school and work.

On that day, they conversed over breakfast, what they were going to do for the day, made plans for the week, for the future? They did what families do.

On that day, little did anyone fathom what horror was to be experienced by the entire nation in the next few hours, and for many years to come.

On that day, during their normal commute into the city, many noted the beauty of the day with the sky so bright blue and cloudless.

On that day, while people were in their offices and holding meetings, airplanes slammed into the World Trade Centers, and soon after, into the Pentagon and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

On that day, the entire nation watched the carnage in horror and shock as the two huge skyscrapers, ravaged by fire and explosions, collapsed.

On that day, thousands lost their lives.

On that day, we witnessed the worst of mankind — savageness and hate.

On that day, we witnessed the ultimate best of humanity, as ordinary people who lived ordinary lives demonstrated to the rest of the world the very best of the human race — love, kindness, and self-sacrifice.

On that day, from ordinary crowds, stood heroes who would not go quietly into the night.

On that day, we can still picture in our minds the haunting photographs of the first responders in the face of death, dashing up the stairways in a heroic attempt to save lives.

On that day, husbands, wives, mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters mourned for the loss of their loved ones, and the nation wept with them.

On that day, many asked, “Where was God?” I believe that He gives us choices in life. For example, Love versus Hate.

On that day, He was there with the first responders, unaccounted acts of heroism, and unrecorded acts of kindness demonstrated by thousands.

On that day, He was comforting all of us.

On this day, let us commit ourselves to pray for all who have been affected by the tragedy of 9/11 then, today, and in the future.

On this day, in loving memory, let us take the goodness — the selflessness and love — of that day and repeat it over and over again this day.

Daniel J. Paul is a retired school administrator. His articles focus on education, old-fashioned family values, relationships and other topics. His website is at meaningfuldifferences.net.