Struggling To Process The Memories Of 9/11
Memorials have been built. The phrase 'Never Forget' has been imprinted into our subconscious. Yet I can't help but feel that many Americans are beginning to feel a bit subdued on 9/11. That doesn't make you a bad person, or un-American. It makes you human. It's been 21 years. 21 years since the horrible images of that day were seared into our minds. For some, they are images we don't like to re-visit.
9/11 changed our country. It changed the world for that matter. Much like the attack on Pearl Harbor, it showed that America wasn't invincible. We could be hurt. But what the attackers on that day didn't realize is what would happen next. September 12th, 2001 is also an important day in American history. It was a day when we began to heal. We joined hand in hand, neighbor to neighbor, to help those in need. We gave blood. We donated our hard-earned dollars. We vowed to get those who were responsible. And it didn't matter if you were a Republican or Democrat. Man or woman. Gay or straight. We were all Americans. We were all hurting, and we turned to EACH OTHER. If you could bottle a sentiment, I'd order a dose of 'September 12th' for our nation right now.
On this 9/11, I will allow myself to watch the painful images. I will remember those we lost. I will talk to my children about that day, and how it changed our country. Let us also not forget the people who didn't die that day, but have suffered every day since then. Our first responders. Many have become sick from illnesses caused by what they walked into that day. Hundreds have died. Many more will. Thank God Congress finally funded the 9/11 First Responder Bill earlier this year. Yes, the talks were ugly. But at least we finally agreed that if there were any one group of people that deserved our eternal thanks, it was our first responders to 9/11.
Flags will fly at half-staff today. Specials will air on TV. I hope you use 9/11 to remember those who have sacrificed. And I hope that you too can summon up a little of the 'September 12th' feeling and make someone's life better today.