“Keep your face to the sun and you will never see the shadows.” — Helen Keller
How one remembers is a choice.
With another anniversary of September 11th passing into memory, many assuredly made note of the date before they closed their eyes on the day. To express their sadness and anger, some posted messages. Some observed quietly. Some wept. And some, sadly, used the occasion to display their ignorance and racism wrapped in the glorious guise of patriotism.
But there are others who chose to remember differently. There are others who have chosen to turn 9/11 into a day for not just saying something, but doing something. They choose to volunteer their time to help build up society where some would tear it down. They choose to act and not just stand idly by even if it is just for one day. They do it to so a little ray of sunshine can pierce the clouds of an otherwise gloomy day.
As I volunteered today on the 11th day of September, helping a few refuge kids from Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Burma with their homework, I saw something through the window of the makeshift classroom. Not anger, nor sadness. Not hatred, nor bigotry. Just a few kids playing. And the sun. It was shining.
On 9/11, when we choose to act by helping others, we do more than remember. We create a little sunshine.