Ten years ago today, America experienced a tragedy that took too many of its own.
Ten years ago today, I married my best friend.
Ten years ago, the world stood around televisions, staring wide-eyed, not believing the tragedy that was unfolding before them while I waiting in the Bride's room in the Salt Lake Temple, waiting to hear if they would keep the Temple open for our wedding.
Ten years ago, nearly 3,000 lives tragically ended.
Ten years ago, our family's life had just begun.
When we were married, the clergy that married us (called a "Sealer" in our faith) referred to the day as "a day of contrasts." He reminded us that - in the future - when we experience turmoil, loss, stress or tragedy, we could should return to the promises made that day and remember where we can turn to receive true peace.
But this year I feel the loss differently. I ache in a whole different way with these families because I too have experienced a bone-chilling loss. I HAVE become "well acquainted with grief" and I know what it's like to have your life change in an instant. To have the wind literally knocked out of you and have to literally labor through every breath.
"I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom."