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20 Years On

At 8:46 AM, on September 11, 2001, the world changed.  By the end of the day, thousands of innocent people would be dead.  Our allies and friends around the world stood with us and pledged to protect and help the United States after the attacks.  Most of all, Americans closed ranks and became more than what we were before.

Americans of all walks of life and beliefs stood together, arm in arm, to mourn the dead and hold each other up.  We saw politicians of all stripes stand on the Capitol steps and sing “God Bless America”.  For one, brief, shining moment, we were one Nation with a common thought.

In the 20 years since that terrible day, we have lost that, squandered it.  To me, that is the true tragedy of 9/11.  We showed that we are capable of finding common cause, of being Americans.  But somehow, we lost that.  We are more divided now than we were on September 10.  Where once we tried to do as much for each other as we could, now we step over each other’s bodies in a quest to be ‘right’.

Today, I look back and I mourn.  I mourn not only the lives lost that day, but also the loss of our sense of belonging, of duty, and of love for one another.

I hope, in my lifetime, for something approaching that moment when we all stood together, to return.  I only pray that it doesn’t take another tragedy to cause it.

1 Comment

  1. Old NFO

     /  September 11, 2021

    Concur! Never forget, never forgive…

    Capt Larry Getzfred, Capt Jack Punches (ret), AW1 Joe Pycior. Navy Watch Center, 9/11/01.


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