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9/11 - What I Remember...

If the horrific number of lives that were lost this day 20 years ago reminds you to be a better human, to be a better American, hold on to that and carry it forward into our tomorrows.

I have spent the morning seeing all the posts about remembering those fallen on this day 20 years ago. I have thought about what I am feeling and might post today to honor them. I have seen the reposts and the overuse graphics. Something has just not sat right with me.

What I remember was the startling realization that we, as a country, are not untouchable. I remember the feeling, beforehand, of our country’s division that made room for the horrible attack and I remember the brief moments afterward where we came together as a nation.

Many of you will post about remembrance and unity today but tomorrow you will return to fanning the flames of the cause of our division. Over the past year or so I have unfollowed so many of my Friends. Not because of what they believe but because of how they express their beliefs.

(Before anyone starts about "freedom of speech", I am a retired Army Soldier that went to war to defend our rights. There is a difference between freedom of speech and the freedom to impart inflammatory rhetoric. And yes you are free to say what you want but you are not free from the consequences. “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates:

Is it true?

Is it necessary?

Is it kind?”)

20 years ago, divided as we were, we were not the nation we are today. We have gotten worse about how we choose to “interact” with each other.

(“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”)

You can have differences without division, disagreements without hate.

(And, for the record, no problem has ever been solved by I grown person doing a “POS” post.)

I have been watching “Ted Lasso”, a show built around a character’s positivity and relentless pursuit of building a team despite the differences, hurt, and negativity in the group. He understands that unless the team finds a way to communicate with each other and work through their differences they will fall. They will remain beaten and eventually have to be disbanded. There is a scene in one of the episodes where one character tells another that, “he may have built the ivory tower but you chose to climb every step on your own”. She goes on to tell the character that they must take responsibility for their actions.

We as Americans love to put the blame on someone, something else but it is impossible to actually escape the burden of your choices.

If name-calling, shouting about how wrong someone is, telling the world how right you are, threatening people, physically attacking people, forcing people to do what you think is right, etc were going to bring this nation together… well we would already be “one nation under god”. (Of course, now I am reminded of one of my favorites lines from a song, “Whatever god you believe in, we all come from the same one”)

I find myself going back and proofreading this, to make sure my message is as clear it can be in an attempt to get across what I am trying to convey but it occurs to me that most of you will read this through the same dirty filter that has gotten us here in the first place. (Most probably did not make it this far before taking to the comment section) You will come at this with agreement and use it as a way to justify how you act, or hatred to justify how you act. So I stop here…

What I remember…

Together we stand or divided we fall.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them”

“Live a life worthy of Their Sacrifice”

If the horrific number of lives that were lost this day 20 years ago reminds you to be a better human, to be a better American, hold on to that and carry it forward into our tomorrows.


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