Around this time in 2001 I was nervously rehearsing my lines for a performance and even when I heard the news on the radio thought, “this must be a joke or something, no one would do that.”
And then my family and I waited hours to hear from my aunt working at the Pentagon.
And then the show went on.
Because it was about a father wrongly imprisoned and his fight for his family.
It was about fighting injustice.
It was about a mother bravely taking care of her family on her own.
Our director said performing was our way of honoring the brave men and women who fought for everything on this day in an effort to spare lives.
It was for now childless mothers and fathers and parent-less children.
It was for those who were spared such loss.
It was a refusal to let evil hearts and minds instill fear and hatred in our spirits.
I jumbled my lines for my “big” scene that night. But the emotion was real. My older brother (community play, folks, it takes a village!) was on stage with me that night and saved the day, entering the stage early once he realized I had no idea what I was saying. That’s what big brothers are for…
Today is my best friend’s birthday. She has fought for me and with me in some of my biggest challenges in life. When I try to understand loyalty, I think about her. In the melancholy of today, there is also a cause for joy in celebrating her.
Be brave. Fight injustice. Hold close to those around you. This kind of fight is only successful when a community unites, looking heavenward.