Saturday, 07th October was my last day in the US, so my good friends Todd and Dawn Bonsall took me on a tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum. The 9/11 Memorial Museum is a tribute to the invincible spirit of New York City. This tour is a must for anyone visiting New York City. Its emotional, heart-wrenching, moving, and educational.
Actually, visiting the spot where the two towers once stood and listening to the tragic stories of those who lost their lives and the heroic efforts of the responders was both sad and heartening. It’s one thing to hear that 2,996 people had lost their lives, it’s another thing to see their faces on the walls and to read their stories. As we listened to our amazing tour guide who passionately described the events and responses of individuals on that day, I could’nt help thinking about all the random acts of love, kindness and heroism.
Among the many people we lost on that fateful September day, were Todd and Dawn’s friend Margaret Seeliger. We eventually found Margaret. Todd and Dawn then told me about Margaret’s selfless act of love and generosity when she gave up her place on a crowded elevator leaving the 100th floor of 2 World Trade Centre to two colleagues. It was such an honour to be introduced to a human being who had demonstrated a selfless act of love.
Like millions of others, I was shaken to the core by that tragic event, on September 11, 2001, it’s a day that we must never forget. I’m reminded of that amazing song by Alan Jackson ‘Where were you when the world stopped turning’.
A mindless act of terrorism which was intended to sow the seeds of fear, hate and divisions among us, instead to unite us in love.
In a world so riddled with divisions let us remember that the world cannot be changed from the side-lines. We all have to reach out and stand together just like we did after 9/11. It’s about changing how we live, work, and lead, together. To do this well, we will have to be active participants and choose ‘Love over hate.’
‘Love is stronger than hate.
Although, September 11, changed so many things in our lives, as people we are not defined by that sad event. We are defined by our natural response of love for one other.
Martin Luther King Jr put it well when he said, ‘Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.’
Love must always be our first response.
In loving memory of Margaret M. Seeliger
God Bless you all