Thirteen years ago, I was a sophomore in high school. Walking through the halls of my high school in Clarkstown, New York, I remember grabbing my flute from my locker to head to band when a childhood friend told me what had happened. Everything changed after that. Community members lost family and friends, nighttime football games were cancelled because flood lights were donated to ground zero, candlelight vigils became regular occurrences.

Today, I find myself recalling the pain and the strength of the city, and I am proud to call this place home. There remains an air of hope and resilience here.

The world is in a violent state and pretty much has been for the last 13 years. It’s sad that there are children who were too young to recall the events of September 11, 2001, and know all too well the vastly different world that it created. “Post 9/11 America” is a very real thing.

Five years ago, a song came out that is a wondrous combination of pain, sadness, and hope that probably exists in so many individuals around the world. Regardless of your nationality, religion, political affiliation, Matiyahu’s One Day transcends boundaries to express the plain human desire to live in peace.