The generation that remembers what they were doing when they heard of the attack on Pearl Harbor is leaving us. Those who remember where we were when we heard that President Kennedy had been shot are getting on in years. But most of us can recall quite clearly what we were doing when we learned of the Sept. 11 attacks. Do we still think about it?
We don’t do much anymore to note that day in 2001, when almost everything we took for granted was lost or altered.
Most of us will hold forever the images of the towers collapsing on themselves and on those trapped within. Most of us will remember the bravery of the firefighters and police and ordinary citizens who were unplanned participants in a disaster of epic proportions.
When events such as this tragedy happen, the feelings and thoughts of most people come together. Political party, religion, level of education, personality – all go by the wayside as strangers gravitate to each other and unite to help and to offer comfort, as we repeatedly ask the questions that no one can answer – why, how come, how is this possible.
Unity was the operative word after the Sept. 11 attacks. Now, so many years later, we have become seriously disunited and divided.
How did we lose the overarching sense of unity that came out of the attacks? Even after such a disaster, it’s too easy – and comforting – to fall back into old habits and thoughts.
So partisanship has raised its head again, and instead of focusing on the terrorists, the political parties have gone back to going after each other, this time with renewed vengeance and anger.
Patriotism comes in many forms. We show our love for our country in myriad ways. We understood that after Sept. 11. We must relearn that again today.
In several of our towns, firefighters are leading the way in holding a moment of silent remembrance of those who lost their lives on that not so far away Sept. 11. In spite of our busy lives, it’s not too much to ask for each one of us to do so as well, and to think about what we lost that day, and what is important for us to remember and strive for in the future.