Dear Monrovia Families:
On this day, 9/11 or Patriot Day, we commemorate those Americans who lost their lives due to cowardly acts of terrorism 22 years ago.
I will never forget that awful day. At that time, I was a young math teacher and basketball coach in San Diego County. I remember listening to the news as it broke on my way to school that morning and weeping over what was happening to our country and the innocent lives lost. That day was among the most challenging of my career as my colleagues and I did our best to help our students process what was happening in real time and to be of support to them. I pray that none of us ever experience another day like that again.
While each anniversary of 9/11 is about remembering those who lost their lives, it is also an opportunity to recognize the numerous acts of heroism and bravery displayed that day and in its aftermath. I hope that as time passes, everyone will continue to take a moment to pause, reflect, and remember. I also hope that each generation that has and will come after 9/11 will never let the memory fade away.
I hadn’t realized until very recently that there has been an effort to transform the anniversary of 9/11 into a day of service or doing something good. This is a way of taking back the day, so to speak, something that really resonates with me. Today, I will make a contribution to both the Tunnels to Towers Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Project. Please consider taking your own action today in remembrance of 9/11 and in honor of those who lost their lives or were impacted so much on that fateful day.
Ryan D. Smith, Ed.D.