Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering 9/11/01

I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing on certain days of my life.
I remember 11/22/79, Thanksgiving Day, the day my second son was born. I remember going to my parents later in the day with my older son and falling asleep on the living room carpet.
I remember 11/22/63. I was in Miss Barrett's third grade class when they made the announcement that our president had been shot. I remember getting out of school early, walking home and my Aunt Rita, who was watching us because my parents were in California, wondering why we were coming home because she had not heard the news.
I remember 7/20/69. Neil Armstrong stepping onto the moon, the grainy black and white image, "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
I remember 9/11/01.
I remember I had the day off, I was home and completely unable to pull myself away from the TV. I remember calling work to see if I should go in to get ready in case we received victims, not realizing that most wouldn't survive. I remember walking in the evening those next few days, looking up and not seeing any planes in the sky. I remember the heroic first responders, ignoring personal safety, running in while others rushed out.
I remember a few weeks later driving down interstate 95 and seeing American flags on each overpass.
We were united!

What happened?
Today we seem so divided, unable to find middle ground. Washington DC is gridlocked.
I understand the passion of standing up for something you believe in. I spent the last year doing just that. But I also believe with a country as diverse as ours, I, nor anyone else, can have everything exactly the way we want. If we wish to move forward we must maintain and fight for our core beliefs but leave room for compromise.
There is a saying, "lead, follow, or get out of the way." A person unwilling to compromise is in the way.
Our nation's greatness is based on our ability to come together, despite our different beliefs, and work for the good of all.
Perhaps the greatest testimonial we can give the victims and heroes of 9/11 is to remember what makes us great. The terrorist sought to destroy us, they failed. Let's not be so unwilling to work together that we hand them victory.
JFK told us to ask what we could do for our country. Our forefathers did that, the victims and heroes of 9/11 did that, our military today does that.
Let us do that. Let us remember 9/11/01 as the day that brought us together in unity and cooperation for the betterment of all.

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