• Patricia H. Arnazzi

Let Us Always Remember


Eighteen years ago early morning, I sat on a rocker holding, my then three month old, niece Angela, who rested on a pillow and was connected to a breathing tube, draining catheters, and IV bottles after her heart surgery few days before. She was in pain and I had spent the whole night trying to soothe her in the NICU at UCLA. We were both exhausted and as I had done since her birth I was praying for a miracle. It was then, that I heard a gasp coming from the nurse’s desk. I lifted my head and followed her gaze to the TV screen hanging from the ceiling. What I saw then shocked me to the core. I immediately knew that was not a movie as I heard one of the parents in the ward say. I knew one of the towers was on fire, and then few minutes later we all saw the other plane hit the other building. That day and those that followed, like the rest of the world, I watched in horror at the aftermath of those terrorist attacks, at the pain of New Yorkers being interviewed about their missing loved ones, at the heroic acts of those who in the midst of all tried to help those around them. And I prayed again. This time for more than just my inner circle, but for those others who had boarded planes that morning on trips to visit relatives, for job interviews, for a long anticipated vacation and never made it to their destination. I prayed for those who that morning had kissed their families on their way to work not knowing it was for the last time. I prayed for those, who because of the line of work they had chosen ran towards danger to rescue others placing themselves at risk, and never made it back home. I prayed for their grieving families. I prayed for those who because they resembled or came from the same countries, cultures or ethnic groups, as the terrorists, were being shunned, harassed or attacked themselves, although they were innocent of any wrongdoing...Then, I prayed for forgiveness and asked for the strength to become a better version of myself. I prayed for unity. I prayed for humility. I prayed that the memory of those horrific acts when hatred and fanaticism had driven few children of the same God I know and love to strike against many others of our brothers and sisters, would never be forgotten, and it would make us better people. This morning I am still praying brokenhearted because as a group we, His children, have not learned to become better versions of ourselves. We have not learned to use wisely, kindly, and for good, the marvelous gift He gave us to be our own agents and choose right from wrong. We still focus on what makes us different rather than what we have in common. We still seek for fame and riches rather than what good we can do with the blessings we all already enjoy. We still lust for what is not ours, instead of looking within ourselves for the divinity we all possess. We still seek for happiness and fulfillment in all the wrong places instead of serving and helping others live better lives. We still abuse and belittle. We still hold on to pride. We hate and despise much easier than love and tolerate. We still do not get it...On the anniversary of 9/11, I pray we soon do. But, I know that my prayers on your behalf will do nothing without your actions. So, raising my heart to Heaven and asking for a little more time, I also raise my voice and exhort you to look inside and see where you stand. Do you want to please yourself or God? Do you even know Him and believe in His plan for you? If you have questions, ask me. My voice will not be silenced, for as Martin Luther King Jr, said, “In the End, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” So, being your friend, I will speak on your behalf, for your good, to uplift you, and guide you, and yes, I

will even speak those words you do not want to hear because I love you.❤️#septembereleven#neverforget#livetolove