``If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate,''
--spoken by Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl
I even remember standing outside on the top of one of the World Trade Center on a windy gray day, feeling the building sway underneath me and hoping my little nine-year-old body wouldn't be blown off. I had no idea then (no one did) that these giant buildings would ever collapse into nothingness.
When I left ten years later to move to Seattle, I'll admit it: for the first year, I was utterly heartbroken. Over the city. Sure, I was sad about missing my friends, quitting my job, and losing my Brooklyn apartment with a pretty spectacular view of the skyline, but I also missed just being apart of the magic of New York--the magic that happens when people from all over the world live together in one city and bring all of their different foods, ideas, musical tastes, outfits, personalities, and dance moves with them. As you know, I'm a self-professed Wordy Girl, and in NYC, there's a story happening every time you step out onto the street. It's intoxicating.
One reason I find this quote so powerful is because Sandy (Pilot Dahl's wife) had a lot of reasons to hate. One of the sad ironies of her story is that her husband wasn't even supposed to be flying that day. At the last minute, he switched with another pilot so that he could take Sandy to London for their fifth wedding anniversary the following week. Instead, Sandy was left without a husband, and his Jason's teenage son was left without a father. Yet rather than giving in to anger and hatred, Sandy was motivated to honor her husband. She set up a scholarship fund in his name and also became an advocate for remembering the people who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, as well as supporting their families. Even though she never really recovered from her heartbreak (she died in 2014 with a lot of drugs and alcohol in her system), she didn't let the pain in her heart stop her from showing love or from helping to make a better future for others affected by the tragedy.
Renegade Challenge: Ask the adults in your life to share their memories of September 11, 2001.