Scattered Ashes, Smoke Piles Ablaze, More than shrubbery lies in ruins.

From two Twin Towers to the rubble that now lay beneath them, tragedies of hearts are picked up like shards of broken glass.

“Never forget,” they wince in their sharp edges.

“I lost my family,” the cracked sides pierce my skin.

As a small trickle of blood makes its way down my arm, “What do you see?” echoes the shattered mirror mocking back at me.

Now eighteen years later, I see a city made new. Buildings reconstructed, and infrastructures a new.

But they don’t see the hearts still mangled and disfigured in an arrangement of dead bodies like the ones that once laid beneath them.

They don’t feel the pain of the husband, wife, son, daughter, grandma, grandpa, aunt, uncle, friend lost that day, attempting to fill the brokenness in their hearts from not that long ago.

And too often than not, they don’t remember that what happened once, could too easily happen again. That as much as we pray and hope it won’t, our only saving Grace is in God above whom too many choose to reject every single day, to this day.

Because on that day, heartstrings were ripped like chords on a violin breaking. Minds were clouded as foggy as the dust heaps forming where buildings stood a mere few hours prior.

And people were lost not just in their presence, but in their representation to the world. More than quotas of their existence. More than just hundreds of the nameless faces still longing to be identified, but never finding home, like the missing child on the milk carton.

For they would not be found.

They would not be coming back.

They would not be home late from work, “just one more (last) time”.

So staring up at the holes in the ground where buildings once lay ablaze and new ones exist, I choose to remember. I choose to see the pain. I choose to know that you’re still hurting. I choose to pray.

For we do not choose to remember because it didn’t hurt, but because it did. For we do not choose to remember because it didn’t hurt, but because it mattered. And it still does.