As a nation and a community, we are all working hard to comprehend and heal
from the horrific events of Sept. 11. This unimaginable loss has struck at
the very core of our sense of safety and order. Before the tragedy, even on
a good day, many GLBT Americans felt unsafe or at least vulnerable in ways
large and small. Now, that feeling has grown even more acute and has
blanketed the nation. The wounds inflicted on our country will take time to
heal as we struggle to come to terms with the uncertainty at hand.
As we mourn the loss of every life, we note we have lost members of our
community as well. A number of gay people, including members of the Human
Rights Campaign, perished in these terrible tragedies. They include an
American Airlines co-pilot on the flight that crashed into the Pentagon; a
nurse from New Hampshire; a couple traveling with their 3-year-old son. We
grieve for every life lost.
But as we grieve, we should also allow ourselves to be inspired and lifted
by stories of unmatched courage and caring by members of our community who
perished: Father Mychal Judge, the New York Fire Department chaplain, who
died while administering last rites to a fallen firefighter, and Mark
Bingham, a San Francisco public relations executive, who helped thwart the
hijackers on the United flight that crashed in Pennsylvania, thereby perhaps
saving the Capitol, the White House or Camp David. In these ways and in
ways we will never know, so many found courage and strength in their final
moments on earth.
Like others, our community knows all too well the devastating effects of
hate. We have witnessed it firsthand. As a nation, our unity of experience
and our shared pain also gives us the strength that renews our hope for the
future. For some, the struggle to bring America even closer to the complete
dream of equality for all has been a renewing notion. While we deeply mourn
our loss, we must not allow this sacred quest to drift to any distant place
in our lives. It has never been more important to remain strong because at
its core, the very opportunity to seek full equality is what makes this
So many people from so many walks of life were caught up in this horrific
web of tragedy. No doubt in those final moments, all differences fell away.
As we heal, we should remember that legacy. In the name of those who
perished – and those they leave behind – we must carry on as a community and
a nation. There is still much work to be done: a global cure for AIDS and
breast cancer, fairness and equity for our families, safety and the
opportunity to flourish for GLBT youth. We will heal as a nation. When we
do, we will be stronger – and perhaps even more forgiving of our
Human Rights Campaign
Enviroshop is maintained by dedicated NetSys Interactive Inc. owners & employees who generously contribute their time to maintenance & editing, web design, custom programming, & website hosting for Enviroshop.