It seems unfathomable to me that it has already been 14 years since that horrendous day when the USA was attacked right here on our own soil. I recall what a clear and spectacular and usually beautiful day that was. And then the phone rang and a friend of our single son excitedly told us to turn on the television and hung up. We watched in horror as one plane after another slammed into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. We listened in horror as the passengers on that plane in Pennsylvania called their loved ones, then bravely decided to wrestle with their killers until the plane was driven out of sight into the ground. I remember how we quoted the now infamous words, “Let’s roll!” as the brave man leading those courageous passengers led the way to either save themselves or die trying.
But what I remember most of all is how nobody…and I mean nobody…cared what ethnicity anyone was, what their political beliefs were or if their skin was black, white, red, yellow or green or what they did to make a living. We were ALL simply Americans, fighting to survive and selflessly helping one another do so. I saved a copy of LIFE Magazine whose cover has a black person and a white person with their arms around each other’s shoulders as they struggled to help one another escape that awful thick and deadly dust storm from the Twin Towers as it fell like a blizzard. Both of them were completely covered with it, ironically making them look the same gray color.
Let’s also remember who was running towards and into those burning and falling buildings when the rest of us were running away. Let’s stop the hatred of our police officers, firemen and EMTs and remember that THEY are the ones we call when help is really needed. It takes a special kind of person to do their jobs and be willing to sacrifice their own lives to save ours. They all do things that most of us could not or would not do and usually do not have many satisfied customers. They don’t make a lot of money, the hours are long and unpredictable and their families (and though they never say it, neither do they) never know if they’ll see them again when they leave for work or go out on a sudden hot call.
Today, as we remember that awful day in our country and our lives, it would be the perfect time to also realize that when the chips are really down, race, political preference or occupation doesn’t matter one damn bit. Faith matters and the love of our fellow man matters, nothing more. Let’s make every effort to once again, just like on 9/11/01, see that we are all the same.
Our country badly needs a wake-up call and today is a good time to remember how we felt when there was a chance that we weren’t going to make it. Let’s remember that we are all Americans that are in this together and strive for peace among ourselves. God bless us all and God bless America.