11/10/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

There is a deep dark sensation that haunts me, and will always.  8
years ago today I was awakened at 3:33AM and sat straight up in bed.  I
felt the evil coming.  It passed through the deepest part of my warrior

I screamed out loud, and woke Chris out of his sleep as well.

knew it would be bad.  I didn't understand until the phone, the pager,
the email, the SMS, all went off seemingly simultaneously.  I remember
that Chris was the first one who said in my ear over the phone..."you
need to turn on the T.V., now."

That was 90 seconds before the first plane hit.

The pager was still going off.  The mobile would not stop ringing.  My inbox began to fill.

I watched my worst fears come true, I realized I had sensed it as it
was being set into motion hours earlier.  The warning shock I had
experienced was being validated before my eyes.

Today, we mourn the loss of our brothers and sisters.  We mourn the heroes and heroines.  We mourn the victims.

also mourn those whom have given their lives since that day to insure
our freedoms are maintained, and that the lives of those who perished
on that day were not given in vain.

Today we mourn, we cry, we remember, we pray.

I love you, and miss you, my brothers and sisters.

day, we must wake up, put on our best "selves" and make it right.  We
do that by standing for freedom, for equality for all humans, for love
and caring values, and for the rights to exercise our rights as free
people.  All of us God's children, we must do our level best to attempt
to meet the challenge of not allowing our departed souls' lives to be
forgotten, or given in vain.

I know love.  I have experienced
it.  I try to live it as much as I humanly can, as imperfect as my
human shell allows me to.  The soul, though, acts to balance that
imperfect state that is being human.

I also know hate.  I have
experienced it as well.  I try to leave it behind, to shun it, to
denounce it, and to turn the other cheek; as humanly possible.  The
soul, though, acts to carry us.

Never forget, but never give in to the hate. That is the challenge.

have no doubt that God allowed my soul to know the difference in such a
powerful way for a purpose.  My belief is that the purpose is to
identify, categorize, and flush out hate, bigotry, evil, and division
in all its forms; every day for the rest of my existence.

have not given your lives in vain, brothers and sisters.  You have
people in this world whom truly understand why your sacrifice was
allowed to happen.  Hopefully when we see you again in the next place,
we will have fulfilled the purpose of our eliminate evil
in all its forms.  To avenge through love, not hate.

We love you. We miss you.  We remember you. We pray for you.

Today, we honor you.

you for giving your lives so that we may know the difference between
good and evil.  Thank you for showing us what true heroism is, and why
you were chosen.  Thank you for giving us the example we needed to
allow us to turn this thing around.

Thank you, God, for allowing us to be human, and for giving us the tool of love to fight the evil.