I was a sophomore in college nine years ago on 9/11. The college held a candlelit moment of silence a few days after it happened. A small group of friends and I took our candles and walked in silence to the empty quad. This is what I wrote in my journal that night:
I sat in the grass with the apple scented candle cupped in my hand and I thought to myself, "During this unspeakable tragedy this is all I can do. Just sit here in the twilight clutching a fragile flame." But it did feel like something. Like I was protecting a small orb of hope.
I can't make sense of what happened--the senseless violence and the innocent lives that have been lost (what lives are not innocent?). And lately--the past few days--it's almost easy to forget, like turning your eyes away from your own shadow, pretending not to notice when it follows you. This is raw, painful, and almost too real to comprehend.
Tonight, as darkness settled over the quad, the wind blew but my candle never went out. I know that hope lives and we will not be smothered by this tragedy.