World Trade Center

9/11: Never Forget

OK, so this is not my normal “post”. But on this day, the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that claimed thousands of lives and deeply affected millions more, I thought it more than appropriate to deviate from “the norm” to reflect on the greatness of our country and those who clearly are not “the norm”.

It occurred to me last night the significance of the next day, so I declared, “Tomorrow is 9/11.” My 9-year old daughter didn’t understand why I was making note of the date and replied, “Yeah, so, today is 9/10.” That’s when it struck me that she wasn’t even born when that first plane flew into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Strange. It just doesn’t seem that long ago. I remember it so vividly. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing. I bet you do too.

A lot has changed since then and as a result of the attacks. Some of the changes have clearly been for the better; some not so much. It’s all a matter of perspective and it’s easy to take sides and argue your position with great passion. What should not be argued—what cannot be denied—is the tremendous resilience and indefatigable spirit of America and her people.

Mr. Rogers Quote

The United States Marine Corps has a long history of producing great commercials and advertising to promote their brand and attract new recruits, while not compromising their core values. This one is pure genius—and especially relevant on this day of remembrance. I invite you to watch it for yourself. The theme is, “Which way would you run?” The message is that it’s human nature to run away from danger, yet “There are a few who move toward the sounds of chaos…ready to respond at a moment’s notice.”

The brave men and women of the armed forces. The heroic first responders. These are the enduring symbols and embodiment of America’s greatness that survived the cowardly attacks of September 11, 2001. It is appropriate that we continue to mourn those who lost their lives, or those who live but continue to suffer as a result of those attacks. However, let us also praise those who regularly put themselves in harm’s way so the rest of us may be free and safe rather than obsessing our time and attention on entertainers and athletes gone wild (yes, I’m talking about you Lindsay Lohan, Solange Knowles, Ray Rice, et al.).

Call to action

Let us never forget what happened in Lower Manhattan, the District of Columbia, and a field in Pennsylvania, 13 years ago today. Moreover, let us never forget what happened in the days, weeks, months, and years since—how we picked ourselves up, came together, and grew stronger despite our injury. Finally, let us ensure that those who were not yet born on 9/11 (my daughter included) understand and never forget.

I invite you to comment and share this with article others—the American discourse isn’t going to change until we change it, virally.

Header image by Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr, CC BY 2.0
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