Reuniting the United States is important



Every year when the anniversary of Sept. 11 comes around, people sit down at their computers or their notebooks and try to put into words what they felt that day.

Whether for a professional piece, a personal diary entry or a paying of respects to those who lost their lives, it doesn’t matter, as long as you take a moment to recognize what took place on that day. For some, it means honoring strangers who sacrificed and, for a few, it means honoring family lost.

Each anniversary represented a different level of mourning and healing. The first year was a sense of hope and determination that stemmed from the loss. To see the flags hanging from rows of houses and the general acknowledgment of people toward one another on the street was something incredible, something that exceeded politics, religion and demographics.

Out of mourning rose the appreciation for life and its possibilities. People grieved, but they did it as a nation, and for the first time in some time, we were a newly knitted country, re-bonded by a day of tragedy and heroism.

As the years went on, the mourning grew less, the memorials got smaller and Americans became accustomed to everyday life again. Politics grew bigger and grittier, and religious differences slowly began their separation again.

Just like the first year after a close relative has passed away, when their jewelry or the smell of their clothes no longer brings you to tears and memories no longer stop you in your tracks, people moved on and set aside a place in their hearts to remember the day, but gave it a place to the side nonetheless. We finally allowed ourselves some peace that a few misinformed men had sought so strongly to deny us.

But as the 10-year anniversary moved around this past weekend and you inevitably paid your respects, I hope you also took time to remember that sense of one we felt after that terrible day and our new found ability to cross lines and bridge gaps thought unbridgeable.

Turning through the news, it is disheartening to see the rhetoric being used by politicians, journalists and citizens across the country. We must avoid this kind of hatred and anger that is flooding our everyday lives. It was this fuel that drove 19 men to bring terror and pain to an entire nation.

Thousands lost their lives on Sept. 11, and America as a whole lost a sense of self. But we moved past it.

Despite where people stood on the wars and decisions that came out of those events, there was a renewed idea that somehow out of every tragic situation a person experiences, the ability to go above it is a strength they inherit.

We will never forget Sept. 11. It is, and will forever be, a scar on our history and on the people who witnessed it. Time does not heal all wounds, as it has been suggested, but merely patches it, and sends us on our way.

However, in those months after the attack, we as a nation stood together and provided a view of resilience and a sense of one. A decade later, as America enters a time of uncertain directions, I can only hope that we can bring back this sense of unity, if not when faced with tragedy, then in the hope for possibilities to come.