Sunday marks the 10th anniversary of 9-11. For many of our young people, September 11, 2001 was the first, but probably not the last, event that evokes the question, “Where were you when …?” Living on the West Coast, I remember being out for an early morning run. My husband and I ran different routes, and we passed each other twice. The first time, he said, “Some small plane hit the World Trade Center.” The second time we passed, he said “Now they’re saying that it wasn’t a small plane.” I remember thinking, “How can that be? How could any plane possibly hit the World Trade Center? By the time we returned to the house and briefly switched on the news, we realized something very awful was happening. I remember choosing to switch the news off, naively thinking that I didn’t want to send our young teenage sons off to school upset. Once they left, we switched it back on, watched for awhile, and then left for work. I had a full schedule of therapy clients, and I remember that their awareness of what was going on evolved through the day, as the news reports continued. When I picked my children up from school, they too knew that something very significant had happened.
There were many, many images and memories that have stayed with me all these years, too many to document here. One that makes me feel both sad and hopeful was the memory of all of Congress gathered together, unified for at least a while, singing “America the Beautiful”.
We felt a lot of unity as a country in those early days, and we need to remember that. America has room and space for many different opinions and beliefs, and we can all argue about them with great enthusiasm. But we need to remember that at the end of the day, especially at the end of that day, we knew that we were all Americans and that we needed then, as now, to stand together about the basic beliefs that have formed this country.Please remember those who died that day, especially those brave souls who gave their lives trying to save other lives. May God bless and protect America.