I don’t usually post anything on the anniversary of 9/11 because it brings back too many negative feelings. It was one of the most terrifying days that I can ever remember. Were we at war? Were there anymore targets? Was everyone I knew and cared about safe?
Every year, people ask where you were when you first heard the news. My mother and I had been shopping in one the larger cities surrounding our small community, and I’d stopped at my apartment to drop some things off before taking her home.
I was greeted with a ringing phone. My sister had been trying to call me for about an hour to tell me that the United States was under attack.
The following days were filled with disbelieve as I sat glued to my television. Even as news programs showed the towers collapsing over, and over, and over again, it didn’t seem real. This was America. Things like that simply didn’t happen here. Except I knew they had, just not on such a massive scale.
Eventually, after about a week, I had to stop watching. Clearly, there would be no more survivors. There couldn’t be. And honestly? I found myself sinking into a depression that affected every aspect of my life.
That’s when I chose to focus on the good rising up from the ashes of the what was – and continues to be – one of the worst tragedies in the history of this great nation.
We’d been viciously attacked. We’d been grief-stricken by the deaths of so many people. And we realized that we’d been living a charmed life.
Until September 11, 2001.
I believe it made almost every American citizen realize what we had … and how easily it could be lost. Attitudes changed. People were kinder. Flags were flown from automobiles and homes in a show of unity. Christmas decorations that year weren’t just the typical holiday colors. People were putting up red, white, and blue in cities everywhere.
That’s what I remember today more than the planes hitting the towers. More than the brave souls on Flight 93. I remember how different life was for a couple of years following the attacks.
We truly were a united nation.
And today… Today, I can’t help but wonder what happened. Why, from sea to shining sea, there’s so much anger and hatred. We are the United States. The only colors that matter are red, white, and blue.
I don’t care what your packaging looks like – black, white, brown, red. Seriously. I don’t care. Beneath our exteriors, we’re the same. And we should strive to bring back the unity we felt fourteen years ago. Not through another tragedy, but because there’s much truth in ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand.’
Neither can a nation.
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