What we Should Remember Today

September 11th, twin towers
Nine years later we are reminded once again that our world is determined by the actions of man. Not just those twenty-two who boarded planes nine years ago today, but my actions and yours determine exactly what kind of world we live in today.

Nine years ago today my sister, theologian and author Dr. Courtney Cowart, sat at her desk across the street from the towering buildings so many used to guide their way in lower Manhattan. My dear brother Robin Cowart was boarding a train with his music blaring determined to have a great day at work near the South Street Seaport. I had just walked into french class and it was the most remarkably beautiful day.

Within hours we would all be running. Not just me or my siblings, but all of us, every living being in this country would begin running from the frightening boundary of humanity that none of us could confront but were forced to in one morning.

Then it began happening. Random acts of human redemption. The homeless of New York converged on the Chapel at St. Pauls, a Chapel that stood without a single broken window just 30 or 40 feet from where the twin towers had stood only hours before, with their cups of change determined to give literally everything they had in the world to give. My dust covered and distraught sister, having just run for her life from a tumbling destruction none of us could understand, now walked uptown nearly seventy blocks and was continually stopped by complete strangers expressing what can only be called a natural love for each other by saying “thank God you are alive” and embracing this person they had never met.

That love was amazing in its power and it was everywhere. On the floor of my dormitory hall every door was open and every shoulder available as we all instinctively knew the only way forward was together. Indeed we had no one else. We were separated from everything we had ever known and were now cast into a remarkably changed world. There was a determination that day to prove the goodness of us all to watch over thy brothers and sisters without concern for the differences we might have or the distance that we normally attempt to maintain.

We all realized two things that day nine years ago and in the ages to come we should never forget it. The first thing we realized was that evil did indeed exist in the world, but the second and far more important lesson of that day however was not the evil that was present but the immense power of love and generosity within our human family.

I was forever changed knowing what good we are capable of when we are reminded how petty our differences really are. Today remember the good that can be and the actions required of us all to make this world a right and just place for every single one of us. Nine years later let us be reminded that our world is made of your actions and mine.


  1. Caradox September 11, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Just lovely Simon! I hope we can all keep tapping into the best parts of what came out of that day — if we do, eventually that will be what remains.

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