My family and I took a trip into New York City yesterday, where we saw a few minutes of the Columbus Day parade, visited and dropped some cash at the Lego and American Girl stores at Rockefeller Center, and made the trip to the south end of the island to visit the 9/11 Memorial. Anyone who lived through that day will have their own thoughts and emotions about that day and this place, and these are mine.
We all have a purpose towards which we are working. Individually and collectively, we are striving to achieve something in our lives. There are setbacks along the way – some are minor while some are profound and even tragic – but there is no denying that we are all working towards something in our own ways.
We only have a short time to make our contribution. Most of us have careers measured in decades. Those who perished on that day in September likely thought the same thing and could not have anticipated what would unfold in the morning hours. We just do not know how long we have, so we must make every day count. Our time investments may be in family, personal growth, our faith, our relationships or our work, but there is something to be done every day. Don’t take one for granted.
Loss and pain can help us find a goal. In this picture, you are looking at names on the North Tower Memorial, with the flag hanging on the Freedom Tower that is rising to its eventual height of 1,776 feet. New development driven by motivated and purposeful people is springing from that ground where so many died. What can each of us learn from our own losses, and how can we rise and grow from those experiences?
Finally, we must take time to remember. The experience at this memorial is unique as the sound of the perpetual waterfall washes over you and drowns out the din of the surrounding construction site bustle. Look back, learn the lessons that are there for us, and move forward. My guess is that those who died that day would approve.