Today is Patriot Day, an annual observance held in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people who were injured or died in 2001 during the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Winn Claybaugh, author of Be Nice (Or Else!), reminds us of the many individuals who were in the towers or on a plane that day and suddenly knew they had a brief chance to make a final phone call. “They didn’t call an old enemy to fight it out one more time,” he says.
“They called someone they loved – most often someone they’d had a lifetime, family relationship with – and they had just one message: I love you. That was it. Nothing else mattered, and nothing more needed to be said.”
So I’d like to challenge you to do just one thing today
In honor of those who lost their lives on September 11, take out your phone and call someone to say “I love you.” You can also make today the day you finally forgive someone, or let go of an old hurt.
This year, instead of simply recounting where you were when the towers fell, honor those whose lives were forever changed and learn something from their last moments. And instead of reigniting the anger or hurt felt by many that day, reignite the love and compassion expressed by the victims during that final call.
What’s love got to do with it?
Positive relationships – whether they’re with family, friends, or coworkers – are enormously important for your health and general peace of mind. All the push-ups, pull-ups, and sit-ups in the world won’t eliminate the negative, stressful effects caused by carrying a grudge, nursing old wounds, or leaving important words unsaid.
Maybe your forgiveness muscles are a little tight – loosen ‘em up and let go. Sure, it may be uncomfortable at first – but, just like a new workout plan, the initial discomfort will give way to rewarding results before you know it. Don’t let a little discomfort stand in your way of peace and happiness.
A Well-Deserved Salute
Today is also an important day to remember to thank our service men and women for protecting and serving us for the past 13 years (and beyond) – especially those who joined our military, or extended their enlistments after the 9/11 attacks, such as my boyfriend’s brother. We thank you for your continued dedication and sacrifice.
Who will YOU call? Tell me who you’d like to honor or salute today!
Post adapted from a sweet email I got at work on September 11, 2015.