Never Forget

Never Forget

photocredit: Colleen Snyder

BY: RACHEL SMITH

It’s a date that sticks in the minds of all Americans.  A date that, up until 2001, probably meant nothing to most people, but for the past 17 years, it’s been a date of remembrance in our great Country.  A date of mourning the loss of almost 3000 souls, all because of hatred.

A date that will forever be etched into our lives.

In memory of all those who were killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks, each year in the United States we observe Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance.  On this day, it is asked by the President that the American flag is flown at half-staff at individual American homes, the White House and on all US government buildings and establishments and home and abroad.

In Clear Lake, our Fire Department will hold a 9/11 Memorial beginning at 5:30pm this evening at the fire station.   The program will include music by the Clear Lake High School Band, a flag raising ceremony, the placement of helmets ceremony, and a guest speaker, SFC Peter J. Bieber.

Many Americans take to social media on this day, posting photos and video clips.  The phrase “never forget” is typed by thousands of people, which stirs a bit of confusion in me.

Sandy Dahl, the wife of flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl, is quoted as saying, “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

Have we though?  Have we learned that lesson?  Because after the shock and horror of the attacks wore off, I remember a Country filled with love and patriotism for weeks and months afterwards.  I remember a Country that pulled together, that flew the American flag with pride.  I remember watching news stories of heroes who ran into burning buildings to save people they’d never met.  At the time I would have said, yes, we learned our lesson.

But time is a funny thing, and as it keeps moving forward we tend to forget.  We forget about how it felt to have our Country attacked so viciously and violently.  We forget about how we hugged our neighbor, our co-worker, or our classmates as we watched the 2nd plane crash into the tower.  We forget how it felt to feel so insecure and scared, wondering what else will be attacked?

So today when you scroll through social media… I encourage you to remember.  Really remember.

Let’s maybe forget for a bit that a Nike commercial has our World in an uproar, clearly dividing the lines between “your side” and “my side.”  And instead remember how we felt to be banded together.  United.

Because, as Sandy Dahl said, life is short and there is no time for hate.

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