That fateful day in September, ten years ago, I walked into my morning journalism class at Cope Middle School. In a manner of solemnity and soberness, yet striking urgency, my newspaper adviser, Mr. Locke, advised us to purchase the paper on our way home from school. "Keep it," he said. "and never forget."
I still have that newspaper, laced with the thoughts of bewilderment, humility, and fear that raced through my naive 13-year-old mind. I haven't forgotten how I felt that day or the days that followed, and how those thoughts of initial shock and confusion developed into deep feelings of love and respect for my country.
I haven't forgotten the homes proudly flying the American flag.
I haven't forgotten the cars bedecked in patriotic decals and slogans boldly calling upon the blessings of God.
I haven't forgotten the national pride that surged through my veins as I listened to powerful renditions of our anthem.
Nor have I forgotten the near-tangible spirit of unity, liberty, and closeness to God that softened the heart and lifted the head of every humble U.S. citizen.
Thomas S. Monson, God's living prophet and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, says it better than I can from this point on. As a guest writer for the Washington Post, President Monson discusses how the calamity, destruction, and heartbreak of 9/11 enabled us to rebuild spiritually. Read this. Seriously. It's good.
Wherever you are in the world, never forget. Never forget that in every tragedy and tribulation, there is a God above who loves you endlessly and will never forget you.