September 11th. 15 years on and many of us still vividly recall the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center buildings, the Pentagon, and the American people. Many Americans will venerate the dead by showing love and respect for the deceased.
But what is the best way to honor the dead? Should we share social media memes, create hashtags, partake in candlelight vigils, attend ceremonies and gather round speech givers?
Each of us will do it in our own way.
Some Americans may be less concerned by spending their time acknowledging this sad part of our country’s history. How many thousands of our troops died because of the circumstances brought on by this enormous event where more than 3000 people were lost? The loss to our nation is enormous in more ways than one.
How often do we spend so many precious moments on trivialities, on contrivances that we lose focus on what is truly precious? Shouldn’t we honor the living before they are gone?
How can we do this?
We do this by trying to love them. We do this by letting them know they are valued. We do this by being responsible for our actions. We do this by deciding what our existence will be. We do this by trying to live deliberately because the dead cannot. We do this by understanding that we are unfinished work. We realize that their work was done yet love joins us in the middle.
Love, the great actualizing agent for change, allows to us to grasp an essence of what they were, what they could have been, and what we can be. To honor them we must try to give and be able to recieve earnestly.
It’s true that every day we regularly fail at doing this thing called ‘loving’ but we shouldn’t stop trying. The dead cannot ask, “why did this happen?” but the living can ask, “how do we stop tragedies like this?” We are alive to shoulder their loss with our righteous intent.
It’s unreasonable to ask someone to live every day deliberately. It’s impossible to embrace a difficult life rather than running from difficulty. We cannot do these things perfectly.
Yet, it is always a very good thing to honor the dead in some small or large fashion.
Sincerity. We must be sincere when we do it.
Fixate for a moment on their death and the worthwhileness of your life and their life will ensue. The dead and living, in that moment, will become one.
“The life of the dead is placed on the memories of the living. The love you gave in life keeps alive beyond their time. Anyone who was given love will always live on in another’s heart.” ~Marcus Tullius Cicero