If there is one thing to be remembered about September 11, it's that it was a day of tremendous loss. These quotes about loss on 9/11 touch on the pain that's involved in the process of losing somebody, as well as the lessons that can be learned from that same process.
Having somebody in your life pass away is never easy, and when I stop to think about the thousands of people who lost fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters on 9/11, my heart simply aches. While these quotes can't mend a broken heart, they can help strengthen it.
From Pope John Paul II to Mary Kate McErlean, whose father was killed on 9/11, the authors of these quotes come from a wide background. Yet, no matter how different their lives may be now (and certainly, how different their lives were in 2001), there's one common thread holding all of their words together: love overcomes everything.
Whether you lost someone on that tragic day of September 11, or whether you were merely an observer of it all, there is no way to escape the devastation that ensued following the attacks. But always remember that the thousands of people who did pass away on that horrible day didn't die in vain.
1. "My father was the best person I have ever known and though he was taken from me on that day, nothing and no one will ever be able to take away the eight years and two days of my life that I shared with him. After my father died, and after I lost so much, I promised myself that I would never lose who I am as a person — the person that my father brought me up to be. … If you owe someone an apology, tell them you are sorry today. If someone asks for your forgiveness, forgive them. Start being the person you always wanted to be today and don’t waste your time worrying about tomorrow." — Mary Kate McErlean, whose father was killed on 9/11
2. "Commending the victims to almighty God's mercy, I implore his strength upon all involved in rescue efforts and in caring for the survivors." — Pope John Paul II
3. "We completely condemn this very dangerous attack, and I convey my condolences to the American people, to the American president and to the American administration, not only in my name, but on behalf of the Palestinian people." — Palestinian President Yasser Arafat
4. "My son, firefighter Leon Smith Jr., who was the sunshine of my life. He gave his life so that others could live. I love you, I miss you and we’ll meet again soon." — Irene Smith, whose son was a member of the Fire Department of New York Ladder Co. 118
5. "The number of casualties will be more than most of us can bear."— Rudolph Giuliani
6. "What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met." — David Leviathan
7. "While we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil." — John Taylor
8. "Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend — even a friend whose name it never knew." — President George W. Bush
9. "9/11 was a reminder that the bonds of family can be severed in an instant. They are essential, crucial, valuable, fragile." — Peter Jennings