9/11… 12/14… and thousands of other dates have transcended their place on the calendar and into the social conscience of our society. Each date represents an event whose magnitude is so profound it can be universally recognized by the succession of two numbers and instantly provoke vivid memories and feelings of sadness, loss, grief, anger, and rage while also creating a sense of empathy, compassion, and connection.
These dates are no longer just numbers. They represent the loss of life to violent acts; our vulnerabilities as a society; our apparent inability as a species to coexist peacefully. They are the mirror that reflects the parts of us we refuse to acknowledge. Most importantly they represent the individual lives lost.
Publicly, the magnitude of the act of violence overshadows the intense personal grief. When the stone is cast and breaks the surface of the calm waters, there in the center is where we find those most intimately impacted by these traumas, the families, and friends of those killed, maimed or exposed to the act of violence. For those in the center of the radiating circles, the weight of the trauma is present every moment of every day. We must also not loose sight of the fact that there are countless tragedies across the United States every minute of every day that do not get the attention of the press and public – they do not get their own numbers.
Today, our hearts at The Avielle Foundation are heavy as we remember the horrible morning of Tuesday, September 11th, 2001 and the nearly 3,000 people murdered.
You can Imagine… Losing a loved one to violence and ask, how did our society come to this place?
You can imagine… The chronic grief of those who carry the legacy of the victims and those who survived and ask, how can I build compassion in my community to support them?
You can imagine… A society that prioritizes an end to violence and puts the full weight of its resources to end unnecessary suffering.