We all remember September 11.
We remember where we were when we first heard the news of the twin towers being struck by airplanes. We remember how we felt when we first saw the smoking buildings. We remember which of our loved ones we worried about and who we called. Without question, September 11 is a day never to forget.
But what about September 12?
September 11 was a day of horror, fear, tragedy and incomprehensible cruelty. And it was a day when we witnessed great acts of heroism and selflessness. It was a scary day, a life-changing day. We didn’t know what was coming, or if more acts of terror were ahead. We didn’t know if the world would be embroiled in war within 24 hours. We didn’t even know if the sun would rise on a new day.
But it did. And the sunrise welcomed a time of hope, camaraderie and national unity that our country hadn’t seen in quite some time.
Undoubtedly, September 11 is a day to remember. But let’s also remember September 12: a day of hope.
I don’t know about you, but I wish we could go back to the way we treated our fellow countrymen and women on that day. I wish we could all find some common ground, even if we don’t agree on what is the best course for our country or who is the best person to lead it. I wish we could discuss our different religions or political philosophies with respect, instead of changing the way we think about someone once we learn his or her political leanings.
Four years ago, I proudly planted a campaign sign in my yard. But this year, although I’m no less enthusiastic about the candidate I support, I find myself hesitant to wave his flag. We all seem so divided this year; so partisan, so angry. There seems to be a pervasive “with us or against us” mindset that makes me shake my head and sigh.
Around five years ago, our country began a descent into a time of great economic difficulty, and we’re not out of the woods yet. In a sense, our country is struggling again, just as it was on September 12, 2001.
Here’s my plea on this September 12. Let’s remember what we all have in common, rather than why we’re different. And let’s remember that our differences are what make this country great in the first place. Eleven years ago, we all found a way to come together. Let’s try to do that again.