I’m not much of a traveler, mainly because I dislike car trips and my other half hates to fly. But about fifteen years ago, we flew to New York for a weekend with a very good friend of ours. While there, we took in the sights of the city, a show (Miss Saigon) and generally had a wonderful time. We spent a little time down in the Village, which was where I bought the picture you see here from one of the many sidewalk artists we ran across. I chose this particular picture for a couple of reasons. One, it captured the essence of the city. Second, it matched the decor of my family room 🙂
All these years later, the picture still hangs in my home, although today it brings back a different image. One of what was – before September 11, 2001. I still recall the phone call that I got that morning, telling me to turn on the TV. I watched in horror as the second plane approached and then hit the second tower. Here, on American soil, terrorists had attacked. I had a hard time believing what I was seeing. How could this be? I sat glued to the TV the rest of the day, and the next, as more information came to light about this.
It wasn’t just New York. These crazies also attacked the Pentagon. How could this have happened? Sure, we all read about terrorist attacks on other countries, but how could it happen here? Little by little, the details began to emerge. There was a fourth plane, one that may have been headed to the White House but crashed in Pennsylvania instead.
New words were added to our vocabulary – Al Quaida, Osama Bin Laden. We relearned the definition of an old one – hero. We came together as a country, unlike any time since World War II. We were united in our grief for the loss of lives so senselessly, in our anger that someone would dare to attack us on our own soil – and in our fear that such a thing could happen again.
On this, the fifth anniversary of the attacks, let us remember what it felt like to be a united nation, one in which we were all just Americans. Let us strive to re-establish that unity, and throw off the fear. Let us not forget those who perished, for no other reason than that they were Americans.
And let us vow to bring to justice the man behind the attacks