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anne mikolay 2012 120Americans on the East Coast, especially those directly impacted by September 11th, do not need reminders. We don't need Facebook postings, media coverage, or mementos to bring to mind what is always with us. Always.

When September 11th rolls around on the calendar each year, my reaction is visceral. If I see a sky as deeply blue as that of that fateful date in 2001, I remember. If I see or hear a low flying plane, I remember. If I hear a certain name, I remember. There's no need to recount the experience. Everyone, especially Middletown residents, has a story to tell, a wound to be healed. We know the facts. We know the cause. We know the result. What happened can't be changed. There's really nothing more to say.

Except for this, the words of St. Francis:

"Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy.

O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love; For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; it is in dying that we are born to eternal life."

This Friday, when you look up at the blue sky, take note: it's the same sky of September 11th, 2001, now above a very different world. The average person can't change the world on a grand scale, but we can make an individual difference. We can pray...for each other and for peace.

This September 11th, God bless the victims of the terrorist attack and grant strength and comfort to their families. God bless and protect America.