8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001. Twenty years ago. I remember like it was yesterday. Where were you when airplanes were turned into flying bombs over the United States?
I have a friend that was in New York City. I didn’t lose anyone close to me, but proximity (geographically) wise, I wasn’t that far away. I was living in the greater Boston area and New York City was only a four hours drive. I was actually driving down the highway as the morning unfolded. I was in shock. It was indeed like the world stopped turning, to quote Alan Jackson.
I’ve never served in the military, nor as a first responder, yet the events hit me hard. I do have loved ones who have served but you didn’t have to be a service member to have been deeply grieved by the events on September 11, 2001.
Thousands of people woke up that day, got ready for their trip, headed into work, dropped their children at daycare, grabbed their first or second cup of coffee – never knowing they’d not be keeping those lunch plans; never knowing they’d or their loved ones would not be back home again.
And for those that survived, they live with the scars of an unfathomable, unprovoked brutal attack on their families and our homeland.
There’s a lot of coverage for this day. And there should be. It is rightly called Patriot Day.
Incredible people sacrificed their lives to fight back against evil schemes on United Airlines flight 93 – bringing it down in a Shanksville, Pennsylvania field instead of allowing it to get to its intended destination (believed to be either the Capitol or the White House).
Incredible first responders ran INTO the danger in Arlington & NYC, in an effort to save others – many who didn’t make it home again either – or became deathly ill from the toxicity in the air in New York City from the destruction and collapsed towers.
We honor them by remembering them. We honor them by doing something good in their memory.
We honor the amazing service animals – hero dogs & their handlers too. They didn’t ask for recognition either – but they deserve it as well.
The best of humanity (and canine) showed up and over the worst that evil could inflict on 9/11/2001 – and that best of all of us continued the days, weeks, months & years following as we grieved together, as a nation. Our allies in other nations grieved with us.
We can’t forget that the evil that was unleashed that day, does still exist.
It is evil that believed the U.S.A. deserved the attack and planned for years to carry it out – even as some of the actual perpetrators weren’t only in distant lands that some of us had never even heard of before, but lived, trained, worked, and walked among us here.
America is the land of incredible diversity & opportunities and a beacon of hope for whosoever would come to pursue it. Unfortunately, evil still exists.
It is evil that believes any demographic of people should not exist – for whatever reason.
It is evil to take the life of another; but unfortunately evil is alive and well in this world – and it lurks in the heart of humans.
If we forget that, if we water it down, if we pretend it wasn’t as horrific as it was, we dishonor those that have died to fight it and God forbid, let down our guard. August 26th in Kabul will tell you that.
Yes, evil struck again on August 26th, 2021, in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber intentionally took the lives of 13 U.S. servicemen and women, along with dozens of Afghan people trying to flee the insanity there.
When will it stop?
We live in a strong military community and there is a beautiful memorial park nearby that honors the lives and sacrifices from many wars, conflicts, and servicemen & women’s’ ultimate last acts of courage. Last week, my husband and I (he is a Marine), visited the memorial for the thirteen service members killed in Afghanistan on August 26th, 2021.
We will not forget.
A 20th anniversary of 9/11 ceremony marking this horrific event, had to be held virtually at the gardens, due to Covid, but it was no less a touching tribute. I’m so proud to live here.
Whatever we choose to do today, I pray we will never forget 9/11. And I pray that we will teach those that were not yet old enough or able to understand why we don’t – we can’t forget. I pray we never have to add to the history. Will you join me in that prayer?
We don’t have to agree on everything – this is the remembrance of an unimaginable national tragedy, not a political event. However, I think for a period of time following, we had seen each other as simply being just humans – all sharing the same air – and thus formed an incredible bond of mutual love and respect for our fellow man, despite our differences. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that bond. We shouldn’t need a national tragedy to get there.
May God bless the United States of America, land that I love 🇺🇸.