As most are doing today; I’ve spent my morning reliving the fateful events of Tuesday September 11, 2001. Like each of you who are old enough; I remember exactly where I was at, what I was doing, and the many emotions that I felt as I first heard of and then proceeded to watch the events transpire that morning. My first TV coverage I saw was the live feed of the North tower with the plumes of smoke billowing out of it…I started watching it just seconds prior to witnessing the second tower getting struck. Shocked, speechless, and worried…
As I stand here and watching/listening/shedding some tears to the names of those who died as a result of these attacks being read, I can’t help but to remember how connected everyone felt with each other during that day and the weeks/months following. Where has that connection gone?
I know we all have different lives that we lead but at the very core of this incident, we as Americans came together and stood as one. Political differences, racial differences, religious differences… for a brief moment, all were set aside. Regardless of what differences we had, we were Americans that stood united. Americans that called family members who we haven’t spoken to in weeks, months, years. Americans that didn’t worry about being cut off while driving or going anywhere for that matter. Americans that made time for family and friends. Americans that were shook to the core that this could even happen on our soil. American flags popped up everywhere…on houses, in businesses, on cars. Personally I loved seeing all the Red, White, and Blue! Members of the military, police, firefighters, and those in public servant positions gained a new found respect, not from just a few, but seemingly from EVERYONE. Was this respect gone before the attacks? Or was it just hidden behind the daily hustle and bustle of our lives?
Maybe that connection was to comfort each other, maybe it was out of fear of the unknown. Maybe this was out of guilt…guilt of not being as patriotic and pro-American as we should have been. Maybe that respect for our public servants were an outward sign of respect. Whatever it was; the weeks, I’d even go so far as to say months, after were filled with people remembering and being a little more civilized with each other. Where is that pride and respect now? Does it only come out on September 11th every year?
My friend, Army Major Mike Donahue said it best this morning when he wrote “I remember every day of the year not just the one day in September where everyone all of the sudden becomes caring and patriotic again.”
Well said, Mike, well said.
Here’s hoping that we all can get back to a point where political, racial, religious, and the many other differences can be set aside. For good. Not just because of a tragedy such as the attacks on September 11, 2001. Here’s hoping that we remember every day, not just every 11th of September.
I remember…always will.