One of the great ironies of tragedy, is that they bring out the best in humanity.   That was certainly true in the aftermath of 9/11.  Thousands of American’s from across the nation joined with New Yorkers in rebuilding streets, homes and lives in Lower Manhattan.

This video says all that needs to be said to people who know that the first response to darkness is not to despair, but to turn on a light:  thank you.

In sharing this video with friends and supporter of the Princeton University Faith and Work Initiative,  David W. Miller, Ph.D., writes:

To offer you a fresh sense of hope, I share with you the below video performance of a poem. The short video is called “Thank You for Everything,” based on a poem written by Michael Simon Hall, from the theatrical production “Pieces of Paper – Aspirations of 9/11.”
The poem is recited in the video by various volunteer people and groups that served in the aftermath of 9/11, at St. Paul’s Chapel, the Salvation Army tent, Chelsea Piers, Point Thank You-West Side Highway, and by Clergy and Red Cross volunteers.  Author/director Michael Simon Hall created this video as a tribute to all 9/11 volunteers and to volunteers everywhere.
This poem is very personal for me. I served as a chaplain at Ground Zero for nine months, based in St. Paul’s Chapel, working the nightshift on weekends. In the video, I am standing outside of the now peaceful gates surrounding the chapel. It was a violently different picture ten years ago, with the fallen Trade Towers and pieces of paper strewn all around…