personal photo, created to commemorate the 10-year anniversary
September 11, 2001. It started out as an ordinary day. My husband and I went to our respective jobs. It was a Tuesday. At my office, the management team had already begun their monthly meeting. I was hunkered down in the land of corporate cubicles. I was working and writing in my office, every now and then glancing out at my aerial view of downtown Knoxville. I was thankful that everyone had finally finished the usual morning chit-chat sessions. It was quiet. I was digging deep for some writing inspirations so I could complete the latest report, missive, or procedure assignment.
Then a co-worker got a phone call. His wife said that the news reported a plane had flown into a New York City building. I popped out of my chair, rocking on my toes to look over the grey fabricated walls that boxed me in. I asked, “On purpose?” He said they didn’t know. I asked which building. He said the World Trade Center. I knew then that we were under attack and I answered my own question out loud. “Of course, it was on purpose.”
Our world changed that day. Innocent citizens, going about their normal, everyday lives were killed that day. Murdered in cold blood. The terrorists were part of a radical Islamist group, fanatics who hate our way of life and freedoms. And it should not be a news flash that these zealots still hate our guts and want to kill us.
Hate is a powerful thing. It can turn into evil in the blink of an eye.
In the days that followed that fateful day, Americans stood in solidarity against a common enemy. While the Nation healed, we supported and respected each other. Time passed. It’s now been 10 years. In many ways, it seems so long ago. Sadly, the unity is gone now and this country seems more fractured than ever, only made worse by the uncivil discourse of those currently in power.
I sadly shake my head, amazed at how many have lost their way and perspective in the past decade. Did 9-11 not teach us anything?
We should remember those lives that were lost and honor their memory. They were everyday folks. They were just like us. It could have been us.
We should remember the heroes, who faced the chaos and gambled with their lives to save others. If we had been in their shoes, would we have made the same sacrifices?
We should remember how we once stood as One Nation, Under God. We mourned together. We treated each other with kindness, respect, and tolerance.
We should remember that we have enemies who want to annihilate us and our way of life. As a result, we need to stay vigilant, strong, resolute, and united.
America will never be destroyed from the outside.
If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves.
~ Abraham Lincoln ~