Today marks the 13th anniversary of the devastating attack on American soil on 9/11/2001. The generation before mine asks each other where they were and what they were doing when the Challenger Space Shuttle crashed. For The generation before that it is the assassination of J.F.K. Before that it was the attack on Pearl Harbor. Each generation has it’s own tragedy to remember and overcome. When we brought televisions into our homes we became able to watch as these events unfolded. Each event just as heart breaking and terrifying as the last. Do you remember the day the two towers fell? Do you remember watching the Pentagon burn? I do.
In between these events we, the American people, tend to forget what it is like to face tragedy and real danger to our country, we fall asleep. We begin to loose site of what really matters and start fighting wars on our own soil with each other over individual personal beliefs and what we should all be allowed to do and think. We forget what gave us the freedom to have such debates as who gets to marry who, whether smoking should be allowed, if we should be allowed to own guns, and who should have insurance and how much they should pay. Our government stops caring about the well being of the country I is supposed to work for and starts worrying more about its full wallet.
The current generation, just like my own before 9/11, doesn’t even really get what it is like to deal with a national tragedy at home. They don’t think really understand what it is to watch as the unthinkable happens and the fear and chaos that follows. There is something wrong when they are more afraid of law enforcement than a terrorist group that is beheading Americans and calling out our country. It is up to is to teach them how to be united as a country instead of how to pick a side against people who don’t think like they do.
Today I challenge you to not just remember the horrible events of 9/11/2001 and the lives that that day claimed, but also try to remember the camaraderie that followed. Try to remember what it was like to stand as a united people with a common goal, to love our country and have pride in what we stand for. Teach your kids to have pride in his/ her country and not pick fights with everybody over petty unimportant nit-picky bs that doesn’t really matter at the end of the day. And ask yourself what is more important, if your gay neighbors are allowed to get married or if our country keeps it’s freedom. My professor said in class a few days ago, “Being anti-something is easy, being pro-something is the real challenge.” Let’s not wait until the next national tragedy happens to unite as a country, not fight as liberals and conservatives. Whey don’t we do it now, especially with an election coming so soon. Let us hold the office holders responsible for what their decisions have caused. We the people need to stand united with each other and demand accountability and refuse to be side tracked.