There are very few of us that can’t remember where we were or what we were doing on September 11, 2001. I can replay the morning like a movie trailer, including details such as the smell of the September morning air. Or the wave of fear, panic, and grief that intensified with each plane as they crashed into each tower, as the pentagon was hit, and the first tower collapsed. Just when I thought those waves had subsided, flight 93 fell silent and disappeared into the Pennsylvania field. Then, my prayers were crushed as the second tower fell. What happened in the days, weeks, and months after those fatal few hours on the morning of September 11th was nothing short of heroic, patriotic, and courageous. We came together as a country. We were one… race, sex, religion, or political affiliation were never even a consideration.
This September 11th, 2020, nineteen years later, I hope we all will be doing some reflecting. Recently, I stumbled upon a portion of President Abraham Lincoln’s speech at Edwardsville, Illinois on, ironically, September 11, 1858. Goosebumps ran up my arms and the hair on the back of my neck stood on end when I read his words.
“What constitutes the bulwark of our own liberty and independence? It is not our frowning battlements, our bristling seacoasts, the guns of our war steamers, or the strength of our gallant and disciplined army. These are not our reliance against a resumption of tyranny in our fair land. All of them may be turned against our liberties, without making us stronger or weaker for the struggle. Our reliance is in the love of liberty which God has planted in our bosoms. Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit, and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors.”
Wise words. We live in the greatest country on God’s green earth. Remember this day. Remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and remember what this country was founded on. Remember how we came together as a country and how we began to heal. I’ll be doing all of this. Additionally, I’ll be going out of my way to thank the men and women in Red and Blue for running toward the danger every day… while we run away.