I sit here tonight in the quiet of the house with a heavy heart and fire inside me. I have a plethora of feelings this evening and so I turn to this trusty place. I’m staring at the blinking cursor as it mocks me when I can’t think of the words, but I know I have to write.
Do you remember where you were 15 years ago today? The day before the world changed as we know it? More importantly, do you remember what kind of person you were then? Who were you, what were your worries? Did you lose your temper that day over something silly and mundane? Were you a little too short with a loved one? Were you a little too impatient? Did you thank that nice girl at the counter who served you coffee as you rushed off to work, late because of the traffic? Did you pass judgment on that person sitting at the end of that exit ramp asking for spare change?
I bet we all did some of these things 15 years ago today because none of us knew that tomorrow we would wake up and become someone different – that we would wake up and our country would be changed. I remember exactly where and who I was 15 years ago today. I was one week away from bringing into the world my daughter, The Middle, and I was as miserable as I could be. I was impatient with anyone near me, I was short-tempered, I was tired, I was swollen, and I was not the person I am today.
Like thousands and thousands of people, I watched horrified that morning as the events unfolded and despite going into labor and my mid-wife instructing me to stay away from the news, I watched for days on end as the aftermath unfolded. It was devastating; we all remember how devastating this day was. It was a sight I will never forget, it was a feeling I will never forget, and it was a change in our country I wish we all would never forget.
You see, we’ve forgotten that part. Every year on September 11th we all put that photo of the towers or the eagle that’s shedding tears on our social media pages and we promise not to forget, but do we actually remember? Do we remember, as a country, what we swore we would never forget? I do and I’m sure I’m not the only one, but not nearly enough people truly remember. Yes, we remember the attack on our country. We remember the horrifying collapse of both towers and we remember the excruciating number of innocent lives we lost on that day, but do we remember the days that came after? Do we remember how we promised to never forget that we are the UNITED States of America? That when you attack one of us or some of us, you attack ALL of us? Do we remember that at that time there were no black Americans, no white Americans, no brown Americans, no yellow Americans – we were AMERICANS. We were UNITED. We were one and we rallied behind our flag, behind our country, behind our law enforcement, behind our first-responders, behind our military and behind each other.
I remember when we became brothers and sisters of this country and we promised those nearly 3 thousand innocent souls and their families that we would never forget. We also promised the assholes who killed these innocent people for simply being American that we would unite and rally behind our flag, behind our country, behind our law enforcement, behind our first-responders, behind our military and behind each other.
Today we are no longer brothers and sisters of this country as promised; we are jaded, separated, and self-proclaimed victims of a society that has done nothing but afford us every possible opportunity for success and freedom. Today we can claim to be oppressed and show disrespect to a country we all promised to protect 15 years ago. Today we fight each other to the death rather than the enemy who murdered us for being American. Today we make excuses instead of change, we no longer hold the responsible parties accountable for the demise of their own lives but instead blame a country who has done nothing but house ideals, morals, and opportunities for centuries.
I remember when we were the UNITED States of America and I pray it doesn’t take another tomorrow to remind us of the promises we made.