Our Ted Tuesday speech today explores how two women, mothers, moved beyond their initial shock and grief surrounding the events of September 11th to a space that allowed for understanding, shared experiences, and even friendship. Like these women, for many of us, the past 11 years have been a lesson about the transformative nature of tragedy.
As we look back over the time that has passed, we can see that individual transformation came in all shapes and sizes. Some became more spiritually and socially engaged, others refocused on those things in life that were truly important – family and friends. Some people became politically active, and some were driven to new professions and educational opportunities. But for those who were just in grade school on that day, September 11th was not transformational – but formational. They are called the “September 11th generation.” These are the students preparing to graduate from college, these are the Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors & Marines who have joined the military in droves, and these are the young people who have brought passion and empathy to pressing social issues. These are the people who want to make a difference in this world -not just their own.
So on this day, I invite you to reflect not only on the tragedy of the time but the transformations from that time. How have you changed since 9-11? And how will a whole generation change our country going forward?