15 Years – A Look Back at September 11

15 years have come and gone since the beautiful Tuesday morning that became the darkest eye on American Soil. September 11, 2001, a day which will forever stain the innocence of life, seems far closer than 5,479 days that have since passed. Life in a post 9/11 world is very different. My daughter will never know the beauty of the ignorance that we lived in before 9/11.

September 11, 2001

As I sit here and type these words, I have been reflecting on the events of September 11, 2001. I think about what it meant to me and the impact it has had on my life. In that time, I have found that the world still has compassion, people still care about their neighbors, and leaders shine when we need them most.

I was standing in the hall at school when a fellow student said “the Pentagon’s been bombed”. I remember telling him how stupid he was because that was impossible. A few minutes later, my high school principal entered by 3rd period English class to inform us of the events. How much the world changed for everyone, even someone sitting in a classroom over 700 miles away. My only tie to the events on September 11, being an American.

God Bless America September 11

Pixabay

Compassion

Sure, there are bad times, but look at any natural disaster and people will line up to donate blood, send money in any way possible, and hold hands with complete strangers. When terrorist attacked Paris, France, I saw social media profiles change to reflect the solidarity of people no matter their location or nationality. Compassion does exist, unfortunately we hide it all too often. Occasionally we show our sympathy with others.
FDNY 343 Heroes September 11

United

 I remember the days and months following 9/11, Americans were truly united through a common bond. Over the years it seems we have regressed and forgot that first and foremost, we are Americans, not Democrats or Republicans, not whites or blacks. My home state of Kentucky has the official state slogan United We Stand, Divided We Fall, a reminder that we are all in this together. As a country, we were united in rebuilding the World Trade Center, bigger and stronger than ever. We did.
United We Stand September 11 World Trade Center

Leadership

Many leaders emerged after the attacks, some political such as President George W. Bush and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, others were victims such as Rick Rescorla, the head of security for Morgan Stanley who died making sure others made it to safety. And I cannot forget the 343 FDNY Firefighters, 37 Port Authority Police Officers, and 23 NYPD Officers. The passengers on United flight 93 showed leadership by refusing to be nothing more than victims. On that day, leaders emerged all over the place, even in cities all across the country. Pastors opened churches for prayer, cities staffed blood donations centers, and thousands signed up for the Armed Forces.

Never Forget 9/11 flag

 

In the 15 years, so much has changed. We do not live in the same world. Security is present just about everywhere we go now, it is a way of life. At the end of the day, take a moment to say a prayer, thank a solider and first responder, and never forget 9/11.

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