Today has been a somber day. I've kept myself from a lot of the news coverage, but I did take time to watch the Tom Brokaw/ Mormon Tabernacle Choir tribute today with the family. It was the first time we'd said anything about the events of 9/11 to the kids. We didn't go into a lot of detail, but we showed them pictures of the skyline in New York with and without the towers. It helped that they still have images of the city in their minds from our visit there last January. Their questions were interesting. Miss A was sure they must have had a bomb too, and couldn't seem to grasp that the crash of the planes was the cause of so much damage. The kids wanted to know why people wouldn't like America and what would cause people to want to do bad things. Difficult questions, ones I'm still not sure I know the answers to.
I have reflected on the events of today ten years ago. I was a sophomore at BYU. I was getting ready for work that morning and my broadcast journalism-major roommate had the news on. When she said that a plane had hit the first tower, I remember saying "What kind of an idiot pilot could run into a building that big?" Then we watched the second tower fall.
I still continued to go to work and sat listening to the radio all morning in our office, because we worked at the Missionary Training Center and tv's weren't really available. As soon as my shift was done I headed to campus and saw more coverage in the student center. I don't remember if I went to class, but I know that as I returned home that night my roommates and I all felt the need to do something. I think so much seemed beyond my control at that time of uncertainty, I wanted to feel like there was still something I could do. We made a trip to the store and came back with red, white, and blue crepe paper. We began to decorate our apartment buildings with streamers across the railings.
Looking back, it seems kind of silly. But I think it represented much more for us than just decorations- it was our faith in the future. It was our pride in our country, our belief that we would emerge victorious, our hope that good would come out of the current tragedy. 9/11 was a reminder for the nation of our core values that family and faith are the bedrock of our society, things we collectively had probably forgotten to some degree. As college students, we turned to our faith and our friends with softened hearts.
I don't think it was coincidental that the theme of our stake conference this weekend was remembering. I've listened to beautiful messages all weekend encouraging me to remember the poor and needy, remember the worth of souls, remember who I am, remember my covenants, remember to be humble, remember Christ's sacrifice. The calendar caused the backdrop of the conference to also be remembering the events a decade ago. To me, it is all connected. There is much to be remembered, all of it to help us appreciate our current blessings, to help us work towards a brighter future.
I hope that I always remember what is most important.