This day has always been so hard. First I find myself sad, on the verge of bursting into tears at the smallest thing. I think about the families and how they have to relive this pain every year, and I think about the people in the planes, in the buildings, the firefighters and police, and the terror and horror they went through on that day.
Next, I get anxious. What if it happens again? What am I going to see on the news next? Are we safe today? Am I on guard enough? Have I taught my child to be on guard? I was never a nervous flier before 9/11. Now, I hate to fly. Anxiety overtakes me, as I dart my eyes around the plane wondering if we will land safely, and y’all, that makes me mad.
So then I get angry. Angry that some horrible people stole something from us all. They stole not only beautiful lives, but they stole a sense of peace, a sense of security, and pulled the rug right out from under us as we all fell down in shock. They stole a way of life, an innocence and carefreeness that we can never get back. Yes, I’m angry today, too.
But then something happens, and as I think about how angry I am as I reflect on the events of that horrible day, I also think about all the helpers. Whenever something bad happens, you should always look around for the helpers. Often quiet and not wanting to take credit, so many gave so much of themselves on that day and the days that followed. Everyone banned together. People we’re giving blood, giving money, and giving time.
American flags were flying off the shelves at every store. We saw each other as Americans, forever bonded together in brotherhood against the same enemy. In the months that followed there was no race, no political divide, no economic barrier, just Americans. People helping people. People having compassion, showing love, and supporting their fellow patriots.
As I think about that, it makes me proud. Proud to live in this great country. Proud to wave that beautiful flag on my front porch and know all that went into making this country free. Proud that in the face of adversity, we chose to come together as one, link arms and say NO, you will not defeat us. NO, you will not crush our spirits. You may have broken us for a moment, but you woke up a sleeping giant and we will come back stronger, harder, and more resilient than ever.
So today, remember that it’s ok to be sad, anxious, or angry. But don’t forget to be proud. Let their deaths mean something, something good. We are Americans, and we are strong. We got through it and we will get through the next thing that comes our way.
Love each other, pray often, and thank God for the blessings he has bestowed on the USA. We will
“We will not waver; we will not tire; we will not falter, and we will not fail. Peace and Freedom will prevail.”
-George W. Bush