World Trade CenterI still remember exactly where I was, because I was almost there. Here’s my 9/11 story, and how the events of that day became motivation for me to start a family.

I’ve posted about the story for several years now, because it doesn’t seem right to forget. Today, especially, with a president who seems bent on isolating the United States from the rest of the world and acting as if we’re better than it, I feel less safe than I have since September 11, 2001. Isolation is not the answer, nor is imperialism. Yes, we need a strong defense against those who truly seek to do our country harm—but we need to distinguish them from the many people of all nationalities and faiths around the world with whom we can engage constructively for the good of humanity and our planet. We need to make sure that our policies at home and abroad do not have the effect of turning more people against us.

Let us look back to 9/11, then, remembering the fallen, those who worked to rescue the victims, and their families and friends. Let us look ahead to a time when we need not live in fear of terrorism, because its roots—including hatred, socioeconomic inequality, and racial and ethnic injustice—have been dug up, with more fruitful seeds planted in their stead. And let us work to make that happen.