It’s been 20 years.
Every year we pause and remember where we were. What we were doing. Who we were with on September 11, 2001. We recount our feelings, thoughts, confusion and heartache. We recall the anger.
In the last 20 years there is a whole new generation who doesn’t have those memories or feelings. They’ve learned of 9-11 from history books, stories and TV specials. And that’s okay. That’s life and time marching on…
When I look back at September 11th I remember a heaviness. I remember confusion and shock. There was a need to reach out to all my loved ones and tell them that I loved them.
But I also remember how Americans came together. Everyone spoke a little softer. Even on the roadways, people drove with more curtesy. We were all hurting. Flags flew at half staff, but they also popped up on every house on every street. There was a unity that hadn’t been felt in a long time. Life had changed forever. We all knew that, and we were all navigating this new normal together.
Here we are 20 years later, and we are navigating yet another new normal. But we are not unified. Patriotism is almost viewed as… bad? I clearly remember a few months ago wondering if I should be flying my flag lest my home be targeted negatively somehow.
Yesterday, though, I put up a brand new, bright and vividly colored American Flag in honor of 9/11. And I pray that maybe this anniversary will cause — at least for a day — everyone being a little kinder. We don’t have to agree on things right now. We just need to be kind and make an effort to speak with respect and love to one another. We need to remember those that were lost and the emotions that followed. And we need to teach those who don’t remember by telling our personal stories.
I shared excerpts on my old blog from my private journal that I kept back in college. Nothing tells my personal story as well as my own words written that day… So I close with a link to that post and wishes for everyone to be a little kinder today and to see we are all just trying to get through a very trying time. We’ve gotten through tough times before. We will again.