Ten years ago, I remember turning on the TV in the afternoon. We were living in The Netherlands then. The children were at school. As I was watching I saw a plane fly into a building, and like so many others that day, thought I was watching a movie. My dismay at such a movie being shown at that time of day soon turned to horror as I realised that I was watching a disaster occur.
Today, I remember the people in those 4 airplanes, and think of the horror they must have felt as they headed to disaster. Of the people in the twin towers and the pentagon. We must never forget them.
But September 11 was also a day when heroes were made.
The people who prevented an even worse catastrophe from happening by bringing down their plane in that field in Pennsylvania. May their loved ones know that they will forever be in our hearts as heroes.
The men and women of the emergency services who entered those buildings in an effort to rescue others. They too, will stay in our hearts as heroes.
The men and women of the same emergency services who survived that horror, only to go back out on the streets of a country changed forever. They are our heroes.
The men and women, who even as the disaster was unfolding in the United States, boarded planes in other parts of the world to start their shifts, and continued on after September 11. They are our heroes.
And the men and women who had the dreadful task of sifting through the debris in search of the lost ones – you too are our heroes.
September 11 was a day that changed the world. I can only pray that when we look back on that day and the decade that followed, that we can say that we learned.
May we never forget September 11.