I’m spending this day, 9/11, our national day of remembrance, in gratitude.
I am being mindful of all that has happened to this country, and to other nations since 2001.
I’m giving thanks for those who gave their lives to save others on 9/11, 2001. Some call them first responders. Let’s just call them heroes.
I’m giving thanks for the selflessness of so many who helped that day, and for the many who have helped this nation rebuild since then.
I’m grateful for those who helped us heal.
I’m thankful for those who have kept us safe, for the many people whose identities are never known to the public, who work tirelessly to protect this country. They sacrifice much; we don’t often give them much thought.
As I begin this National Day of Service and Remembrance, I promise to serve.
I promise to be mindful that the women and men I’ll meet today — wounded warriors — risk everything to protect us, and keep this country safe.
I am mindful today, as always, of the many who saved my life in post-9/11 Afghanistan — from Army medics and soldiers to Air Force officers to some of the best trauma surgeons in the world.
Those Americans are the reason I’m here. They gave my family hope, and that’s why I live in gratitude, every day.
On 9/11, I am concentrating on one of the best words in any language: Thanks.
Kathleen Kenna is a rehabilitation counselor who works with wounded warriors.