We string our lives together based on seemingly unrelated moments in time. I vividly remember being 3 years old in full meltdown mode squirming in the arms of my aunt while I clung to an open bag of Cheez Doodles as it emptied out in slow motion like an avalanche onto the floor below. Or the time my mother smiled as she wept silent tears when my brother and I, ages 9 and 6 respectively, decided it'd be great fun to repeatedly mess up her hair. Of course I also recollect numerous happy moments as well but it seems as though the poignant memories remain firmly ingrained forever. So, too, the deeply resonating memory of September 11, 2001. From the routine to the obscure, we are collectively reminded of our humanity as we introspectively trace the events of that fateful day.
Thirteen years have passed, and yet the ripple effects remain. Life changed in palpable ways for countless millions. War continues to be a backdrop to our daily lives. Although the battles no longer command the headlines from the media, the ever-present struggle seems entrenched.
As parents of children born into this paradigm, we collectively hope for a peaceful resolution for the sake of our kids' future. Being a father of children 6 and under, I've yet had to present the grim details of tragic world events or the prospect of future conflicts. It's difficult not to think about all the brave men and women of the military who've become parents in the past decade. They're faced on a daily basis with balancing service to country as well as securing the safety of their own families.
As the pervasiveness of Internet connectivity grows internationally, the Earth becomes more of a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone else's business. And that gives me hope. Much like the densely populated streets of New York City, people can find a way to live with one another, despite their vast differences. Conflicts may arise but common ground usually paves the way to better understanding.
So on the 13th anniversary of September 11th, let's choose to remember our humanity. No matter where you hang your hat in the world, we all belong to one amazingly capable, remarkably resilient species known as the human race. Embrace the infinite potential of the future.
What do you think? How has life changed for you and your family?
An earlier version of this piece appeared on Vincent Daly's site, CuteMonster.