Sunday, September 11, 2011
Every generation has its seminal event, that moment in time where you always remember where you were when...
The Greatest Generation will never forget where it was on Pearl Harbor Day. Every living member can tell you what s/he was doing, what happened next, how many neighbors, family and friends went to the draft office on Monday following the attack.
The Baby Boomers know what happened on November 22, 1963. It remembers the horror of a young president murdered in front of his wife and the nation, the funeral procession, John-John saluting his father's coffin. We remember how we cried and wondered what had happened to our country and what would happen next.
The next generation remembers the Columbia shuttle disaster, as do previous generations. Our children can tell us what they were thinking when they watched the first teacher in space die and knew her students had just seen the same thing.
The current generation has 9/11. Ten years ago we stood as a nation, united by an attack on our basic value system. The "bad guys" struck out symbols of our power. We hung flags in front of our homes and dared them to do it again. The world stood with us and said, "Today we are all Americans."
I have flown a flag every day since the attack. My original 9/11 flag had to be retired when it became too ragged. It's replacement is nearing the end of its life as well. A new one waits in a drawer, knowing its call to duty will come.
What happened? The world hates us. We hate each other. We can't seem to agree on anything. We need to work together, but don't want to. We know how, but I think too many find it too much work to try and fix our problems.
Sigh. Can't we return to the unity and commonality of purpose we felt on Sept. 12, 2001?