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“What were you doing when the first tower was hit?” A question you have likely been asked before or have inquired of someone else. I distinctly remember the chaos and confusion right when the news came in. Nobody was sure what to make of it and details were unclear- but soon enough, the painful reality became known. Americans were glued to the news stations broadcasting shocking footage of the twin towers being attacked. The symbol of American freedom was hit hard and everybody felt it.

Patriot Day on September 11th is the day we remember those who were killed or injured in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 when 4 planes were hijacked, 3 of which were flown into the Pentagon in Washington, and the World Trade Center in New York. The loss of life on this day is unthinkable, and the effects of the destruction have impacted our lives in more ways than one. America’s innocence was certainly destroyed- today we know the enemy; we know that we are vulnerable and cannot take our security for granted.

Terrorism is felt all around the world today. No matter who you speak to, or where you live, everyone is impacted. From Brussels to Turkey, France to Florida, there is a harsh reality to accept. It is therefore our duty to educate the youth of today and to teach our children about morality and the value of life; and to bring awareness to the state of the world we live in.

September 11th is also National Grandparents Day- and there’s no better time to celebrate our families on a day that so many lost their loved ones. Let’s take the time to hug a little harder, chat a little longer, share stories and experiences that we don’t always make the effort to do. In the age of technology when so many of us barely manage to make any eye contact during our day, we need to consciously designate the time for this.

The long summer days are getting shorter, our children are going back to school and we need to resume our daily routine. But that doesn’t mean that we need to continue old patterns when we lose sight of what truly matters. When our time is up, will we wish we worked longer hours at the office- or will we wish we had spent more time with those we love and care about? I say the latter and I don’t want any regrets. Let’s take advantage of the precious time we have here- put away our phones- and set aside time just for family and friends.