What’s changed in 19 years?
Today, 9/11/2020 is a Friday. I put out my blogs on Fridays. This is only the third time, since 2001 that the eleventh had fallen on a Friday. While 19 years would not be a milestone year. This year, I feel compelled to write about the things that have changed, or have remained the same, since that tragic Tuesday, September 11, 2001.
Anyone under the age of 25 probably doesn’t have much, if any, recollection of that day. Those of us who were adults at the time know exactly where we were and what we were doing when we heard the news and then turned on the TV to watch it live. We were in shock, we cried, we called our loved ones who were far away, and hugged the ones close by. We prayed for the victims and their families. We vowed to “get” the ones who did this to us and never allow the country to be that vulnerable again. We rallied around the flag, the symbol of our country, and we set our differences aside, united in grief and determination.
And then… the unity waned and as the years continue to cause the memories to fade and a new generation, who doesn’t remember or who weren’t even born yet, has grown up, our country has taken a giant step backwards. We are a country divided.
Yes, we have been a country divided before. As early as the Civil War in the 1860s, again after the 2nd world war with the civil rights movement, and during the Vietnam war. And here we are again. I’m not making this into a political post or taking a stand either way. I believe anyone would agree, at this point in time, we are a nation divided. Yes, it matters how we got that way, simply for the knowledge and to determine not to allow it again. However, I believe the main question is how do we unite the country once again, as Americans without a subset? Just Americans. I hope it will not take another a national tragedy to band us all together. Certainly, a national pandemic didn’t bring us together.
Perhaps we need a campaign to #StopTheHate or #LoveOneAnother, maybe #WeAreUs? It doesn’t matter what the differences are – political party, skin color, job status, financial status, education, or whether to wear a facemask or not (please cover your nose!) – whatever our differences, fighting physically or verbally will not solve them. We need communication that includes listening, not just talking. Hearing, not just listening. Caring, not just hearing. A willingness to acknowledge our differences, and yet work through them and with them to a compromise that is acceptable to all.
It seems to be a very hard thing to accomplish. But is it really? I don’t think so. We need people to step up and speak out for peaceful communication and mutually respectful resolution. Let’s stop letting those who are spewing hate control the narrative. It’s time for the silent majority to speak up! There are more of us who are cool with everybody being who they are than there are haters. We need to speak up and spread the narrative of love and unity. One nation, under God, indivisible…
While I was typing this came to mind. (I often think in song.) I am including it in case you, too, think in song. Revolutionary by Josh Wilson.