Where were you on September 11, 2001?
Were you even born?
Did you believe it at first?
Did you watch the second tower get hit?
I can remember with complete clarity where I was, who I was with and what I was doing. I can barely remember a month ago but this day will forever be carved into my memories. This was the first real act of terrorism from an international entity that I was grown and aware enough to fully comprehend.
I was a teenager when Columbine happened and I remember what I was doing then as well but it was different. Columbine was home-grown, I could put a face on the villain. The purpose was known right away.
On the morning on September 11th I wasn’t able to understand this villain. Why would a group of people fly multiple planes into buildings or crash them into the ground? Their God told them to? Our way of life was a threat to them? What, why, how?
I struggled with these questions for years, even now I still have questions.
This post is a tribute so I won’t get into how this even changed my politics. Well, the aftermath did that but you get what I’m saying.
Over the weekend I saw specials and heard interviews about the men and women who died and sacrificed on that very first day. The tears I cried for them then built anew, they fell from my face with each mention of a fire fighter, a police officer, a family member of the thousands of people working in those buildings and flying on those planes. They even fell for the men who followed through with the plan that caused this needless suffering.
The anger I felt for those men left me years ago. I can’t hate them for what they did, that would make me no different. I mourn them. I feel sorry for them.
Let today be a reminder than for a short amount of time this country stood tall, together. Race, religion, sexual orientation, and political affiliation didn’t matter. What mattered was us. Our nation was shaken to the very core and yet we held our heads high.
I hope that today and moving forward we can use the perspectives found at that time to make our way back together as a nation.
I hope that we can stop looking at someone and wondering if we hate them before we know them.
I hope we can remember, together we are stronger.