Here we are again, 9/11 - the anniversary of the day America lost her innocence.
For so long, we thought we were immune, or perhaps exempt from the tragedies that are felt around the world, sometimes every day. We thought terrorism was something that happened to someone else, that our borders were sovereign and inviolate. We, like most children, believed ourselves invincible, perhaps immortal.
We were wrong.
It was a very rude awakening and like most awakenings, it was full of pain and sorrow and loss. The loss of loved ones, the loss of innocence, the loss of faith in ourselves, in our government, in our world-view. Once lost, innocence can never be reclaimed. We have seen the shadow; we have felt the chill touch of mortality. We realize that we aren't invincible, untouchable.
Today is the day to remember those who have gone before us; those who have lived and died for every freedom, every privilege we experience and sometimes take for granted. Today is a day to mourn their loss, to celebrate their lives, and to rejoice in our wondrous freedom. Today is a day to remember just what those sacrifices have gained, and what we stand to lose should we ever forget.
When was the last time you actually read the Declaration of Independence, or the Constitution, or even the Bill of Rights? Do you even remember? Maybe it's time to renew your acquaintance with them.
That's one of the things I plan to do today. I'm going to re-read them, renew myself within those amazing words. Then, I'm going to light a candle before saying a prayer - one of thankfulness for those who have gone before and for those who still fight. For those still fighting, I hope my candle becomes one of many to shine against the darkness, a beacon to guide them safely home once more.