Archive for September, 2011:
Ten years ago today, President George W. Bush described the attacks that shook our nation: “Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.”
Ten years ago today, I remember exactly where I was when the news spread.
Ten years ago today, the lives of thousands were changed forever.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt described December 7th, 1941 as “a date which will live in infamy.” I think many would agree that September 11th, 2001 is the “Pearl Harbor” of our generation. I’ll never forget walking through the high school halls to a morning class during my sophomore year and hearing fellow students yelling “They’re attacking us!” Confused and not sure what to think, I remember sitting down in that next class where my teacher had on the news. Every channel was a new channel that day. I don’t remember really believing what I was watching at the time. It seemed surreal. Seeing those planes fly directly into the sides of the Twin Towers. This has got to be a movie. It wasn’t.
Hearing the news of the crash in Shanksville, Pennsylvania was just as jarring. Knowing that an attack came so close to my home was horrifying. Since that day, I’ve had the opportunity to visit the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville and Ground Zero in New York City. This experience provided a connection to those who lost their lives in a way that you can’t get by reading an article or watching a television special. Standing in those places remind you truly what happened that day.
The events of September 11th, 2001 changed the course of many things. It changed the lives of New Yorkers. It changed the lives of those living the Capital. It changed the lives of Pennsylvanians. It changed the lives of Americans. American flags began waving in more places than I’d ever seen before. Waving on front porches, cars, office buildings, stores, trucks and buses, shirts, pants and hats. American pride was never higher. The outpouring of giving and care for others was amazing.
This past week provided many opportunites to reflect on 9/11. Radio programs, television specials, articles, songs and books commemorated the events of the past. It is a good thing. We need to remember. We need to tell the stories. We need to visit the memorials. We need to rekindle that American pride. We need to not forget that day, ten years ago today.