Safe in a Connecticut suburb — enjoying the late summer weather, watching a kids' soccer game, working at an office desk — the falling towers can seem long ago. It’s been 18 years.

But Darien has not forgotten. And to honor the lives lost, officials and residents gathered Wednesday morning at the town’s 9/11 memorial at Middlesex Middle School.

Six Darien men who worked at the World Trade Center died that day: Chris Gardner, Stephen LaMantia, Garry Lozier, Edward “Teddy” Maloney III, William Meehan Jr. and John Works.

So much has changed since Darien woke up to blue skies on September 11, 2001. That day brought death, world changing shock. And Americans went to bed with fear, tears, terror and confusion.

There followed wars — Afghanistan, Iraq. And terrorism, with attacks all over the world. Terrorist attacks have left so many dead here and abroad, so many wounded and so many broken hearts.

Today, violence continues on our own shores as Americans take sides against Americans on issues of race, gun control, immigration, and others. Understanding gives way to anger. Compassion cannot overcome resentment. Sometimes, national and local politics reinforce those divides and that anger.

The madness goes on. Hatred goes on.

A weary American knows that war is not always the best response, and there are no easy answers. Death begets death. But attacks and threats demand a response.

Wednesday morning, town leaders and clergy shared thoughts and prayers. Roses were placed and a moment of silence will be observed at 8:46 a.m., the time the first plane struck the Tower on September 11, 2001.

The ceremony was a community event. But whether we attended the ceremony or marked 9/11 in our own personal way, we honor the memory of Darien’s fallen and all those civilians and first responders who lost their lives that terrible day.

At this time, more than any other, we need to recall that all of our lives can change in a split second. All of our words and actions matter. Embrace and sow what is good and let go of the negativity so many of us are saddled with.

We are fragile beings and every minute of our breath spent on that which brings hurt and pain into the world is a wasted one. We have but one life.

Don’t waste yours.

We stand together. We remember.