This is the fourth year that I’ve written about Matthew Horning on 9/11. I think of him often throughout the year, and all the more as the anniversary of the attacks approaches. I encourage you to go back and read my original tribute post, to learn some of the details about him.
Matthew Horning was at work on the 95th floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. He was a database administrator for Marsh and McLennan, beginning his morning, making a living. He was 26 years old, and was about to propose to his beautiful girlfriend, Maura. Those cowards stole his life and his future. They stole a lifetime of dreams, plans, and memories.
So much has changed in the world since Matthew was murdered, but that day is forever seared into the American memory. People have debated the events… who was responsible, who wasn’t involved, and what we should do about it. We’ve fought wars, given opinions on radio talk shows and made films. The memory of 9/11 has been the catalyst for military and firefighting careers. “Terrorism” is a part of even children’s vocabularies. September 11th has changed America forever.
As I think of the best way to honor Matthew, I think my friend Joy said it best in a blog comment four years ago:
“… As our lives go on and the tributes end, may we pick up the mantle of freedom and not impose it on others, but live it out in our daily lives. May we see the unseen, may we feed the hungry, and clothe the naked, and touch our fellow man with love and hope. Loving one another is the greatest honor we can give those we lost.”
I strive to honor Matthew in this way, by loving others and defending freedom.
Matthew, you are not forgotten.