Why 9/12 Matters
Out of the horrors of 9/11 came 9/12. A day and time in our country that we should never forget but we have. It was sweet and Mayberry-esque. We were one. We were all just people, we were all Americans. We were one nation under God. There was unity in our country and the world. We loved our neighbors more, we spoke to strangers, we gave blood and opened our wallets. We ached and cried with one another. We were confused and overwhelmed but during that time and the weeks that followed America was great again. That's the kind of "Great" we need in America. One where we don't see race, gender or religion.
I recall standing in front of my television, because it was all of 27 inches, completely numb and sick to my stomach by what was unfolding before us. How could 4 planes get hijacked on American soil and be used to kill and destroy us. I couldn't put my head around the fact that I saw an airplane fly into the second trade center building. They played the clip of the airplane hitting the second tower over and over again. I can still see it in my mind. The plane looked like it was a toy as it flew into the building. The entire plane just stopped in the middle of the building. Nothing came out the other side. How did a whole plane fit in there and just stop? What stopped the plane from coming out the other side? We as a nation gasped in horror as the towers came down, seriously the towers turned into dust. Those towers were a symbol of power and wealth in America. How on earth could such a thing happen in our country? The land of the free and the home of the brave?
Mainland America had never been attacked. I was one of many Americans who felt it could never happen here. We're too good, we're the United States of America we're infallible. Other countries wanted to be like us or so I thought. Nobody's going to mess with us. Besides if they mess with us, we'll wipe em out in 2 seconds flat. Our nation was brought to its knees and 18 years later we still haven't won that war.
We watched the planes hit the towers, the towers fall, the pentagon on fire and the little field in Pennsylvania where everything was decimated over and over again. These images are burned forever into our minds, hearts, and souls. We watched as thousands were killed or were carried away, as souls in shock walked from lower Manhattan looking like ghosts covered with the remnants of the twin towers. We watched as people choose to jump rather than burn to death. I recall thinking those that perished the second the airplanes hit the building were blessed because they didn't have to wait for death, they didn't have to hear the screams, smell the burning flesh and wait as the flames came mercilessly closer.
By the time I knew what was going on my two oldest girls were already in school for the day. It was awful not being able to talk to them, to ease their fears and help them comprehend what was going on. Maybe that was for the best because I couldn't explain what was going on anyway. I thought I should show up to work for a little while so I took my youngest Erin to third grade that day. The moment she innocently asked me "If they put a trampoline over the top of the school would a bomb bounce back off?" I should have turned my car around, gone home, held and reassured her for the rest of the day. Instead I chose to go to work and share with my friends and colleagues what had just happened. I wanted to know what they thought and if they were as confused as I was. None of us could work and there was nothing to say. We all went home early to our families.
Heather, my oldest was on the freshman volleyball team. On the afternoon of 9/11 when all bleary eyed Americans wanted nothing more than to go home, Heather had a game and it was made mandatory to attend. I couldn't understand why the school district didn't cancel all games that day. I wondered where was the respect for those lost in America's most horrific tragedy. With age and wisdom I've wondered if they were trying to prevent panic. Times were still tenuous and no one knew what was happening next.
In my little world of Henderson Nevada my family made plans of our own. If planes started hitting anything west of the Rockies we were going to pack up and get out. We lived a stone's throw from Sin City and knew Vegas would be high on al-qaeda's target list.
I remember how incredibly quiet September 12th was. There wasn't a plane in the sky. All flights were grounded. It was eerie and reassuringly peaceful at the same time. People stayed home with their families and talked. Parents had to disclose to their little ones what happened and then try to explain why, when all reason seemed to dissipate for ourselves. What a monumental task we had before us. We mourned the loss of nearly 3,000 men, women and children including 343 firefighters. Honestly, can you truly wrap your head around that? I can't. After 18 years it's still unfathomable the kind of hate it takes to kill thousands and bring the world to a standstill.
In my humble opinion America is headed for another 9/11. This next mass tragedy will be of our own making. Hatred between generations, political parties, religions, pro-life, pro-choice, gun owners, anti-gun groups, LGBTQ, transgender, white supremacists, antifa, wall, no wall and I could go on. Every issue seems to be viewed in black and white, every topic no longer on a scale, but a side. We have started a war amongst ourselves. It isn't us against them, there is no versus. They are us. We are Americans. The media is tearing our country apart by their own agendas. I long for the days of Walter Cronkite and unbiased news. Just the facts ma'am, just the facts. Since the birth of Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. common decency, decorum, manners, politeness, compassion, courtesy have flown out the window. Everyone feels the need to tell every stranger encountered why they're wrong.
Why can't we have an opinion without being maligned and hated? In a country with many freedoms Americans are taking away the freedoms of their fellow countrymen without even realizing it.
So why have we forgotten 9/12? I can understand the younger generation not knowing what we went through, but come on folks Let's remember 9/12/2001. Remember how we came together? Helped one another? It didn't matter who, we just helped. Why can we rally when there's a earthquake, hurricane or tornado? Why can't we rally when our country is so divided? It's simple really, kindness, compassion, courtesy, understanding, love and One Nation Under God! The love of Jesus will fix everything. That is why 9/12 matters!