anne mikolay 20182019 marks the 18th anniversary of the terrorist destruction of the World Trade Center, the attack on the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93. Each September, the mantra “never forget” is invoked as we emotionally revisit the worst event in our nation’s history. Remembrance ceremonies abound. As we recall the unspeakable, let us not forget the good that rose from the ash.

September 11th, 2001 undeniably displayed both the worst and the best of mankind. Amidst the evil and destruction, brotherhood and empathy thrived. As the unthinkable transpired, people instinctively reached out to one another. Strangers rendered aid without hesitation. The color of one’s skin or one’s political or religious affiliation did not matter. It never entered anyone’s mind as those at Ground Zero came together to survive. Communities rallied in support of grieving families. Americans united. We were one nation as never before.

In 2001, we painfully experienced the dark evil that lurks within mankind. That evil could not and did not suppress the natural charity within the tender-hearted. Each year, we remember loved ones lost on September 11th; we remember the pain, the fear, the utter shock of it all. We must also remember the selflessness, the philanthropy, the patriotism that the evildoers awakened within us.

This year, as always, I grieve for family lost in the towers, for all those killed, and for their families. The pain of 9/11 never goes away. In order to move forward, we guard it well within ourselves. Pray for those affected by September 11th and honor the brave first responders and the surviving witnesses by simply being kind to everyone you encounter. You do not know what sorrow the stranger next to you carries within.

Never forget September 11, 2001. And never forget the good that conquered the evil.