As the sun sets on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, I’m left with my usual feelings of sadness and the only thing I lost that day was my sense of security. I didn’t know any of the lives that were lost or know anyone who was directly affected by the attacks. I was just one of the millions of Americans watching the television in disbelief, holding back tears, hoping someone, anyone, could make sense of what just happened. Of course, it didn’t make sense to anyone, so there was no prevailing voice of reason for me, or any of us, on that day. We were just a nation that was, momentarily, brought to its knees and all we could muster was a collective shout of “why”.
I remember watching the television for days and feeling as though I would be abandoning America, when she needed me most, if I were to turn it off. My heart swelled listening to the heroic efforts of the first responders who charged headlong into the chaos and traded their lives for those of complete strangers. I, also, remember our President who, contrary to some belief, handled the events of 9/11 as well as anyone could have hoped to.
Through the tragedies, the heroism and the tough talk of a nation, the one movement that still stands out more than anything else for me was the fierce sense of nationalism that swept through our great country.
I knew, even on that day, that New York City, Washington DC and The United States would rise like a Phoenix from the ashes and show the world that we can’t be broken. Just like the Who’s in Whoville, a warm sound of unity waffled throughout the world, letting them know we are still here and stronger than ever.
For the first time in my life The American Flag was sold out in every store in my area. That was because we all wanted to fly them from our flag poles, hang them in our windows, and attach them to our vehicles. All of us wanted to express our new found patriotism and thumb our noses at anyone who thought they could divide us.
U-S-A was chanted at every sporting event in America. Nothing is more moving than hearing 20,000+ people become one voice. We heard it again today at football stadiums throughout the country.
Sure nationalism waxes and wanes like the moon, but rest assured, Americans working together as one can overcome anything. Regardless of how devastating the event.
September 11th will forever be a day to remember the horrific attacks against us and that will naturally bring sadness. But, it’s also a day to remember the heroic acts of so many and how as a county we rallied together and carried each other through the darkness.