Remembering September 11

9/11: Remembering that day – and it’s lasting effects.

Ten years ago this morning, like many around the world, I was simply going about my daily routine. I was at work checking e-mail, getting ready to jump into my projects for the day when it happened. The world changed.

I ran into the conference room of the public relations firm I worked for at the time and began taking in what was unfolding before me on the TV. I was simply an observer piecing together the evil that was killing the innocent. I did not know anyone who died on September 11, 2001; there was no personal loss and I do not pretend to fully understand the anguish of those who did lose a loved one — but there was anger, sadness, shock and deep hate in my heart.

If I am honest with myself now, many of those feelings still exist 10 years later deep down inside.  I still cry when hearing the stories of the heroes, both alive and passed. I still have anger in my heart when I read things those who murdered thousands of people said and wrote prior to using planes as weapons. But, there is one thing that has been layered on top of these feelings — the absolute core belief that good will always overcome evil. Always. And when evil climbs out of its deep dark and dank hole, good may lose a battle or two, but it will win in the end. On this earth, or in the afterlife.

This feeling of good rising from the ashes of evil was never more present in my heart than when I visited the Flight 93 temporary memorial in Shanksville, PA last summer.  Yes, it is a heart-wrenching place, a place where I cried when looking on the angels left to mark each passenger.  But it is also a place where the outpouring of good, love and faith in the hearts of Americans can be seen in every piece of personal memorabilia left and every memorial created.  The Flight 93 memorial showed to me that even in our darkest hour, when evil is everywhere, love, caring and shear heroism will triumph.

My heart still weeps for those lost, and anger still rises in my gut when I remember the faces of the murderers. But I know that out of every awful act, the goodness, loving and faith-filled hearts of those around the world affected by evil every day will always triumph.

The temporary memorial to Flight 93 is now closed, as the permanent memorial was dedicated and opened yesterday. But, today, as we remember those who died and collectively try to make sense of it all, I wanted to share some of my photos taken last year as a way of sharing the memorial with you. It was truly an earthly reminder of good overcoming evil.

Julia Montgomery Stewart

Nicknamed “Julia Child” at a young age, our own Julia is most at home in the kitchen. Lately, she has combined her culinary talents with a new hobby—fitness and healthy living. As a result, her recipes reflect an intriguing balance between eating well without sacrificing flavor. Outside the home, Julia is a consummate event planner, and spent the first ten years of her career as a publicist before expanding her portfolio of talents with the launch of Live Pretty in 2010. Balancing the busy demands of career and family, Julia lives with her husband and daughter in Orlando, Florida. In addition to her work in marketing, she serves a number of community organizations and initiatives in Central Florida.

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