You’ll hear it countless times today: “Never forget”. You’ll (hopefully) see flags. You’ll see Facebook and Twitter profiles updated. But have you really remembered since last year? Ask yourself… when was the last time you REALLY remembered the events of September 11th, 2001? Was it last year? I sincerely hope not. I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that I remember it often.
We were living in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C. That morning I was at work in Alexandria, Virginia. I had to follow the story via the web on BBC because all US websites were clogged and all cell service in DC was down.
Once the Pentagon was hit I was able to see the smoke from my office window which was less than five miles away. My wife (who was working in Arlington) and I made our way home in traffic that was worse than normal for DC which is saying a lot. We sat on the couch for the rest of the day and evening to watch it unfold on TV.
I’ve read more books, watched more documentaries and digested more blogs, forums and web pages about September 11th than probably about any other day in history. I’ve read the official position, I’ve read the conspiracy theories. The day fascinates me. Not from a morbid perspective, but because of what a tragedy it was and how it shaped the world we raise our children in today. I wasn’t around during Pearl Harbor, Kennedy’s assassination or D-Day, but I can only imagine that those created similar feelings among Americans.
To this day, when I see someone in uniform, I stop and make a point to shake their hand and say “Thank You”. Nearly every time I do it, I get choked up. I’m teaching my kids to do the same thing. Even though they really don’t know what took place on that day I want to instill in them the proper respect and reverence for those that keep us safe.
If you haven’t yet, I’d urge you to fly your flag today. It’s a symbol of our great nation. It should not be reserved for a few special days of the year. If you don’t have one please get one. Take a look at that flag and realize what it stands for.
I’ve got lots more to say, but I’m having a hard time putting it into words.
I’ll leave you with this which I’ve posted on previous 9/11 posts. I just found out recently that I’ve got a personal connection to this band which makes it even move moving. It’s worth your time to watch. Never forget.