I know it’s Sunday and you all want to enjoy the end of your weekend. But before we all shut off our laptops, roll out of our office chairs or hang up our hard hats, let’s just remember what today is all about. There’s really no need to say it, but today is 9/11.
That was fourteen years ago today, we’re creeping up on two whole decades since the most devastating attack on U.S. soil. Read that sentence again. I simply couldn’t believe my eyes when my classmates and I saw the footage for the first time and gasped, followed by a terrible silence…
I can barely wrap my head around the thought that young kids these days weren’t even alive back then. For the past decade or so, every September 11th I overhear little kids pulling on their parents’ hands asking why there are so many American flags hanging outside everyone’s front porch. To be a parent having to explain to their child, at such a young age, that such horror exists in this world is a conversation every parent should dread.
Explaining past events to younger generations is a burden every older generation carries, it’s a mantel that comes with age. My generation, the millennial generation grew up in this post-9/11 landscape and it is our duty to teach younger people, through the context of this day, that people are capable of doing despicable things but they also can commit beautiful acts of love and kindness when faced with adversity.
So what about those directly affected by 9/11, the firefighters and police officers in D.C. and New York who went through fire and death to save lives? What of the men and women who serve to protect this country? What do we owe these people?
We owe them our respect and gratitude for what they do, all those who serve to keep us safe. If you only stop to thank a soldier, a police officer or a firefighter once a year, make sure you do it on this day. Just thank them. That’s all you can really do. They may not have been at the Towers or the Pentagon but they’re here now.
I know everyone isn’t perfect and neither are our armed forces, firefighters, nor our police officers. But neither are our parents. Neither are our brothers and sisters. Neither are our teachers. Neither are our friends.
On many occasions, well, on most occasions we seem like a divided country split up into demographics and sub-demographics with these beliefs and those beliefs and we’re better than those people over there and so on, but as weird as this sounds how we’re divided is kind of what being American is all about.
Today, let’s recognize that we are all part of one big, imperfect family. The American Family. Because, guys, we’re really all we’ve got. We don’t have to scream U-S-A or We’re # 1, we just have to say we’re here for each other.