Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on our great country. It is crazy to think that right now, a majority of us mothers have children who have no idea about that day besides what they hear from us and what they read in books.
The books tell a story, however, they don’t feel the pain we as mothers felt, They don’t feel the anxiety that we had on that day. They don’t know what it was like to be confused and wonder how this could happen.
Actually, they don’t even know what it was like to only be able to see what was happening on television. We didn’t have this wide source of internet, or smartphones, Twitter, Facebook updates, etc. We didn’t have an alert on our phones that would pop up during emergencies. Some of us actually saw the fear in our parent’s eyes on this day 21 years ago.
The 9/11 attacks were horrific and from here on out, for the rest of my life, I will see that date and feel a tug on my heart. Though 9/11 is a date we will remember with sadness, I want to remember mostly about 9/12.
On September 12th, 2001, the country came together. We all were hit with such devastating news, we slept differently the night before and we woke up with this incredible feeling of patriotism.
It didn’t matter what race we were, our size, our gender, our occupation, etc…
None of that mattered. What mattered is that we were Americans and we saw our country attacked, we saw people suffer and our eyes were opened to how quickly things can change.
On 9/12, more people put up their American flags. Actually, Walmart sold 88,000 American flags on 9/12, an increase of 81,600 flags from the year before on the same day — and that is just one store. On 9/12, more people asked to help others, more people prayed for others, and more people put all grudges aside and just loved one another.
An amazing 181,510 Americans enlisted in the military after 9/11, with pride in their country and ready to serve. On 9/12, those decisions were made and people’s lives would be changed forever.
On 9/12/2001, people living in the United States of America weren’t “Democrats” or “Republicans.” They were American citizens.
On 9/12/2001, people hugged more, they talked to others more, and they became more of a community. Many people drove into New York offering ways to help. Many people found ways to help those in their community who had suffered a loss from the attack.
The point is, and the most important thing to remember is that, on 9/12/2001, we came together. We didn’t see differences, we saw one commonality and that was that we were all here in this great country together and we were standing together.
Imagine the impact and difference we could make daily if we treated each day like 9/12/2001.
Imagine the impact we could make if we came together more, offered to help more, pushed differences aside more, hugged more, loved more, and saw the good in people.
We can’t change what happened on 9/11 and we can’t take away the fear, anxiety, and sadness that will come with this date every single year. But, we can remember 9/12 as a time that we came together and we can use that date as a reminder to live our lives like Americans did on that day.
Today, especially, I hope you share in that spirit of unity and do something kind for someone else today. I hope you smile a little longer, say hi to a stranger, offer to help someone, and remember just how great it is to live in this country.
“When Americans lend a hand to one another, nothing is impossible. We’re not about what happened on 9/11. We’re about what happened on 9/12.” – Jeff Parness.