Let’s Remember September 11th
A few days ago, a woman on a local Facebook group posted about 9/11. These are her words:
Does anyone else remember 9/11? I’m not talking about the plane going into the Trade Center video. I’m talking about that night after the dust was settling. The firemen, police officers, and strangers who worked until there was no hope of survivors. I remember talking to friends and family. Everyone felt like they had to do something, even though we were miles away. People donated blood, water, food, masks, and even dog food for the rescue dogs. We prayed, cried, shook with fear and then beamed with pride. The number of NYPD and Firemen lost was devastating. We watched on TV the horror and could not imagine running into the building while others were running out.
Taxi drivers brought people home for free, cell phones were passed around by strangers to call loved ones. Hands were held for comfort by people of every age,race and religion.
No one questioned the person needing the hand held. No one questioned the background of the police officer saving them. Firefighters did not turn volunteers away after a background check found they were in prison before. In that moment we were what God intended us to be, brothers and sisters. We were not put here to navigate life the way we are right now. Why do we lose our ability to love when the smoke clears? People gave beds to strangers because they could not get to their apartment, yet today we turn our eyes away from a neighbor that can not afford food. While people cried on the streets of New York City they had a never ending stream of people offering a supportive hug. Yet today when we see the tears of a stranger we avoid eye contact and say I’m not going to get involved.
I’m guilty. I watch the news and criticize our officers for using deadly force. I look at the overdose posts in my hometown and judge the people behind them. But it needs to stop. It all just needs to stop.
In my opinion, truer words were never spoken.
We have lost sight of what it means to be united in recent years. We have stopped being neighbors and have resorted to being judgmental strangers who scoff but do nothing to help. We stopped supporting those who protect us because a few of them have decided to stray from being true defenders.
After the dust settled, we were rattled. We were shaken. I still remember that day, very clearly. I was in college then. My classmates and I didn’t know what to do, how to respond. We continued through the day in a collective silence, trying to make sense of the crumbling world outside of campus.
It seemed that in that day, all Americans became very aware of what it meant to be united. We sent aid when we could. We showed our pride by wearing our colors. We prayed. We sang. We cried. We uplifted the heroes.
In the few years after, those memories were still fresh. We still rallied in support of each other on that day of remembrance. I remember as a teacher just a few years after teaching the children of men and women whose lives were lost that day, how it affected them and how I had to be gentle on that day.
But now? Much has changed. Much has been forgotten.
Can we go back to those days when we lived united? Can we go back to helping each other no matter our differences?
Let’s reach out to each other and live united again. Let’s help those who need help. Let’s cry with those who need a shoulder to cry on. Let’s support those who don’t have the ability to support themselves. Let’s lift up those who are down trodden.
Start small. Reach out to your family and friends. Reach out to your neighbors. Can you imagine what would happen if we all just started small and it continued?