September 11, 2011

When I think of the passengers of United Flight 93, I think of how, beneath the accumulating rubble of the past ten years, the most subtle and profound of gifts to this country lies waiting to be discovered, and cherished in a way that very few ideals, if any, ever have in our modern history.

The hijackers would stand as the epitome of everything that is wrong with, and continues to plague, modern society; for it is the hijackers who represent not the Middle East or Islam, but the idea that fear can conquer the human soul. The 21st century truly did begin that day, marked by its first step into the clouds of fear that still exist ten years later, which have come to define the beginnings of this next generation of Americans. My generation.

But I know there are those of us who see past the smoke, or those of us who see the precious and immeasurable gift given to us by the passengers of United 93.

I can only imagine what changes in a man when he knows he is going to die. Perhaps he thinks mostly of all that has made him rejoice, of all that made life worth living; all of these things that surely must in some way culminate into the single most wonderful and redeeming quality of the human being that is love.

Was it love that brought these men and women from their seats that morning to face not merely the hijackers, but an idea that they, the passengers, refused to give into, that they knew to be false?

And though there is no way to articulate the cause exactly, I do feel that from the fire of that crash was born a light barely strong enough to endure in the coming months and years of darkness. That light lives and breathes in the quiet, bare Pennsylvania field today, its survival rooted in its very lyric that whispers the soft song of love conquering fear.

It is a song that cannot be heard, or at the very least maintained, by any religion, politician or institution of any kind. We instead need only look to our own selves. For it is only in each of us, in a genuine and collective realization of our own individual power and capacity to love that the next great and most significant of human revolutions will occur, and in which our loved ones who passed years ago will truly live forever.

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