Each generation has a pivotal moment that transcends individual experience, becoming part of the collective memory. For some, that moment may have been the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the assassination of President John Kennedy, or the moon landing. For many of us, September 11, 2001, is a day that has left an indelible impression on our lives, both individually and as a society.

Many of us can recall in cruel detail the day extremists brought down the World Trade Center Towers in an unprovoked attack, resulting in the deaths of nearly 3000 people, countless injuries, and ineffable grief. Alongside the tragedy, however, we can remember the heroism of those who rushed headlong into danger to rescue others.

As custodians of knowledge, community, and collective history, we at the library encourage you to take a moment today to remember those we lost in this tragedy. Celebrate their lives. Mourn their loss.

We can never know what our lives would be had that event never transpired. We’ll never know what those people might have contributed to the world. And while we are unable to change the past, we can help to shape the future. In fostering peace, understanding, and forgiveness in our lives and in our communities we honor those we lost. Let us remember this tragedy not simply as loss but as a reminder to commit ourselves to caring for one another and building a healthier, more harmonious world.