A challenge for Americans 15 years later
There are times in our lives when on a specific day and time we can tell you exactly where we were and what we are doing. The actions of most Americans during this time are humdrum everyday things we still do. We still confide in our friends or spend money we do not have. Our children 15 years of age and less do not have a barometer for the height of our shock, disperse, or depression. How do we put our world in perspective to the other cultures on our planet? And yet, so many of the Pearl Harbor era can not only relate but also come to some salvation regarding ‘we made it before we will make it now’.
After 9/11 there were many ideas and grand predictions. The truth is we seem to have slipped a cog, so to speak. Within two years after 9/11 o football player would dare to sit down during the National Anthem. No person would dare to burn the American flag. We would protect our neighbors. Meet in groups to determine how we could help or fellow countrymen or be sure to seek safety first. We cared about every aspect of our lives.
Today it seems all the camaraderie is gone and unless we are in the small number of first responders. Unless we know someone who gave their life on 9/11, we can’t seem to pull those feelings and reactions back to the forefront. We have a strong and well-trained military. So what happened?
It would be a true selection for the times now and one hundred years if every one of us sat down and put our thoughts on paper to answer the questions, ‘Where were you when those planes came into their target?. How did we get through the rest of the day, were we in shock or just angry? Who was the first person you thought of when being informed of the devastation coming to a way of life? How did friends and family react to the news? We have so much more to do, without knowing what and how do we accomplish so much we need to still accomplish.
Can we do it?
My challenge to each American is to sit down with paper and pen to write down the emotions, the place, our first thoughts, and whom we spoke to first. No need to worry about the spelling and/or grammar of this work. Our challenge is to just write it down and then read it out loud. This is not a time for ‘don’t do it and say I did’; this is not a time of blame or call to action. This is a time to come back to our nation and move forward in a common and peaceful way. Take the time spent drinking a coffee or calling a friend or relative but write down our history for all Americans.