Looking at my Facebook this week, the “Remember 9/11” posts have abounded. I find it interesting to read everyone’s different posts and responses to the day. I have friends in the military or married to soldiers who post about the base lock-downs. I have some who post about frantic phone calls to make sure friends were alright after the attacks. A few are even posting remembrances of friends and family who died in the attacks.
I, personally, was less affected than many, many Americans. I was only eleven years old and didn’t know anyone in any of the places that were hit. I do, however, remember it all quite well. I remember watching it on tv for days. I remember the shock of it. I remember listening to President Bush address the public from Ground Zero. I remember going to a community prayer service with just about every person in my small town. Even people who weren’t Christians were in attendance. Race and religion didn’t matter that day. We were all Americans.
The thing that stood out to me the most then and also looking back is how this country pulled together in the aftermath. Never before had I seen Americans of every kind coming together, not caring about previous prejudice, for one purpose: to find healing after a disaster. Suddenly, the only thing that mattered was that we were all Americans.
As we look back on 9/11/01, let’s remember to see the whole picture; good and bad.
Now, we have inscribed a new memory alongside those others. It’s a memory of tragedy and shock, of loss and mourning. But not only of loss and mourning. It’s also a memory of bravery and self-sacrifice, and the love that lays down its life for a friend–even a friend whose name it never knew. –George W. Bush