The memory fades, the pain levels: 7 years ago today a lot of us lost our innocence. 7 years ago today, it seems both like a lifetime away and an instant.

But today, I can say that I got past most of the funk. Sure, I still look up in the sky when a plane flies lower than expected; Sure, I still get some chills down my back when I get close to ground zero; but, for the most part, I can go about my life without being reminded of what happened.

Today, my concerns have evolved: it’s more about building a better future for the generation born after 2001, that of my son, than it is about dwelling on that horrible and unfortunate date.

But today is also a time for reflection: there is still only a construction site on ground zero, the result of wrangling by different factions about what the place should be: it may be weariness on my part but maybe the best way to honor the dead would be to put your own agenda aside and try to figure out where the common ground is. Whether you were affected directly, through the loss of friends and loved ones, or indirectly (and, let’s face it, most of us in the USA were affected at least indirectly), a way to celebrate might be to reach out to someone you generally wouldn’t and try to understand what ground you share.

7 years ago, New Yorkers pulled together. 7 years ago, we were all as one but somewhere along the way, the country went back to being apart. Why not make today a day to bring all of us together again as New Yorkers, as Americans, as members of the human race.

In Memoriam: Carlos Dominguez, Mark Ellis, Melissa Vincent, Michael DiPasquale, Cynthia Giugliano, Jeremy Glick, David Halderman, Steve Weinberg, Gerard Jean Baptiste, Tom McCann, David Vera.

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