Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness
I have watched today’s headlines with mixed emotions but familiar ones. I graduated from the police academy just one week before the September 11, 2001 attacks. I still can’t find the right words to describe how I felt that day. There was shock, disbelief and pure amazement at the level of evil, destruction and hatred. I will never forget the images of people jumping to their deaths; can anyone imagine having to make that kind of decision?
My heart broke with pride for my new family, my brothers and sisters in blue as they ran into the face of danger. I vowed to honor their courageous spirit to the best of my ability. That day I also held my three year old son and cried. There is a moment as a parent when you realize, you cannot always protect your children.
In the days after, as we mourned and healed, we held onto the stories of hope and courage. We searched for the rays of light because we needed to believe they would overcome the heavy veil of darkness. It was a time to be still, a time to honor the lost and a time to reflect on our future.
I understand the sense of relief that many feel today, a person who represents the evil and terror of September 11th is gone. Perhaps some of the families mourning loved ones will be able to find a sense of closure.
What I cannot understand is the spirit of celebration and rejoicing. People are dancing in the streets, it’s being called a great day for peace. Is it? I feel that emotion again, the one I felt that day ten years ago. It’s the one you can’t describe, when you see the veil of darkness falling. What will the headlines be in the coming days? Will there be violence and retaliation?
Martin Luther King Jr. said "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” It is a time to be still, a time to honor all who have lost their lives in war. It is a time to reflect on our future. We must courageously stand up for peace; believe that light will overcome darkness. We must refuse to surrender to hatred, we cannot rejoice in war and death.
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