I wrote this two years ago . . . when we could defeat a pandemic instead of allowing it to roll over our nation, killing Americans. No end appears in sight.
September 11th. A time of loss and mourning for our country.
It was also one of the last times our country came together in solidarity.
Shared pain and suffering has a way of bringing people together. How could we do anything but coalesce as a nation and a world after such an attack?
What has led us so far astray after that show of togetherness?
So soon do too many forget our shared humanity, our common values, and what binds us as a nation. It’s far too easy to see our differences in the form of culture, race, policy, and political party. When an agenda is placed before progress for others, the nation falls behind.
When the first plane hit the World Trade Center, it was tragic. We knew people had died. When that second plane hit, that was something entirely different. This was no accident. Our nation’s capitol and the heart of our defense was next.
What stands as an American triumph on that tragic September day is Flight 93 where passengers thwarted the hijacking. Since then, an American on his way to Paris helped to thwart another terrorist attack on a train in 2015.
Our nation and her people have a history of standing up to violence and injustice. Sometimes, we do lose our way. We always find our way back to those strong American values because that’s what our country was founded upon: standing up for others, especially those who are in harm’s way.
To this day, our nation is at risk from threats, both foreign and domestic. We face many other challenges today, as well, and yet, we face them divided. As we do so, we have less of a chance of being successful over the short and long term.
The opportunities for collaboration and coordination are endless.
When America decides to come together around common purpose, we shoot for the moon and succeed, we end world wars, and we end global pandemics.
Our American values are those that bring out the best in one another. We must focus on solving problems, not creating more. We stand up for our brothers and sisters, as well as our neighbors. These are the American values that make us stronger.
When we stand alone and divided, we’re not in solidarity. We’re definitely not as we were 17 years ago today, one nation with a common purpose.
I take that memory and focus on what I can do to make our country and my community better.
That is the least I can do.