A Historical Spotlight: 6 Lessons From the 13-Year Anniversary of 9/11

9/11 Memorial HeaderBack in August of this year, I visited the 9/11 memorial museum in New York City. The museum has only opened this year but has quickly become a popular landmark for Americans and tourists alike to visit and pay their respects.

I was only a young child when the towers fell, but my experience of the museum got me thinking about what the 9/11 disaster meant to the American people around me and what I could learn, myself, from the disaster and the way the many millions of distraught people around the globe dealt with it at the time.

Below are the six lessons I’ve learned from my recent visit to the 9/11 Memorial site after it’s 13 year anniversary.

Six Lessons from 9/11… 13 Years On.

1. You Can Recover from Hard Times

9/11 MemorialIn place of where the twin towers fell, two pools have been built with running water and the names of the victims around each of their edges.

Although the pain is still fresh in the hearts of all Americans, this small change has brought a sense of peace to the area making it a place where all can come together to reflect and remember.

9/11 is the worst act of terrorism to ever of taken place in the modern world, but the fact that people have taken the time to build up the memorial and make this a place of peace just shows how recovery is still always possible, even in the darkest of times.

This is an important lesson for us to learn as human individuals too. There will always be a time in life when things go not anywhere near as we’d of wished, but we can and will always recover from those times whether together or alone too.

2. Heroes Aren’t Always Rich or Famous

Something the museum puts extra focus on was the people who tried to save others when and after the disaster took place. None of these people were rich and famous, and some weren’t even police or firemen. But they were heroes because they made a difference.

Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honour those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11           – President Barack Obama

As much as we all dream to make big successes and heroic impacts in our lives, we should never forget to make the seemingly small ones either. Men and women on that day, 13 years ago made heroic actions that they may never have been recognised for in the public eye, but they left that disaster knowing they had made every positive effort and impact they could to help people through.

Not everything is about fame and success, and sometimes it’s important to know that the realities of life and death need to come first.

3. If You’re Going To Be Anything, Be Courageous

911 Memorial

If it wasn’t for those courageous people of the day, there would have been many less survivors from the 9/11 terror attacks.

Every single New Yorker made bold and risky decisions that day – whether they were in, near or away from the site of the crash.

What’s important is that they were bold enough to make those decisions. In your life time you will also have to make decisions, although none of them life threatening (I hope), but all of them life changing, so never be afraid to trust your instinct or take the leap.

4. Create a Legend

In your life you should aim to be more than just your work, just a product-maker, just your name, age and occupation. At the memorial museum there was a room where ticker holders could just sit and listen to people tell the story of their lost loved ones.

Make sure the world has something to say about you. It’s easy to forget your humanity when you’re climbing to the top, but it’s our human and public stories that truly make our creations legendary.

5. Crisis Brings Unity

Even the most independent person needs community. In this case the community was both New York and America, but in your case it could simply be your family, your office or your school.

We need this community around us to help us through the bad times and to fuel us into the good. To give us opportunities and support. So make the most of your resources and take every opportunity you can during your climb to the top. And never let a bad moment or crisis, negatively and permanently affect your vision and end goal.

6. Life is Precious

Almost 3,000 people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. This is an indescribable loss but what we can learn from this number, if anything, is that life is precious. And whilst you have it, you owe it to yourself and the world, to make the most of it by being happy in the choices you make and making the most of the opportunities available to you.

If there’s something my time in America taught me, it’s that the world is everyone’s oyster. There is nothing stopping you from achieving your dreams, so never stop thinking about how you can learn from the past and pave the way for your future.

Whether this post encourages you to make a decision about university, a promotion or whether to pop the question – your life and your choices are in your hands. Never forget that.

Wrote by Aimee Hall