Everyone remembers where they were on the unusually warm Tuesday morning of September 11, 2001, which turned into one of our nation’s darkest days. Our country and the world watched, without disbelief, the deadliest terrorist attack in the history of the United States live.
People were confused and shocked, and one thing became painfully clear: America will never be the same. But when three brave New York City firefighters took it upon themselves to raise the American flag over the wreckage and ashes of Ground Zero, it sparked a strong sense of patriotism. Soon, stories of heroism, courage, and selflessness from the smoldering ruins of New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania spread to the rest of the country.
As we honor the 2,977 Americans we lost on that fateful day, let us remember the kindness and loneliness that arose in the days, weeks, and months after September 11, 2001.
President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress just nine days after the attacks, saying, “The whole of America has been touched in the evening of tragedy to see Republicans and Democrats gathered together on the steps of this Capitol, singing ‘God bless you.’ America.” The nation set aside its political differences as the entire hall gave the president a standing ovation.
Patriotism spread throughout the country. Demand for the flag increased so quickly that stores struggled to keep it in stock. It was a surreal time like 79 percent Adults proudly flew Old Glory and countless Americans took to the streets in support of freedom and liberty.
It’s hard to believe it’s already been 21 years old. That horrific tragedy forced us to recognize humanity in one another and showed us that our bonds run deeper than our differences. During that time, a sense of civility and respect has swept into our society. Suddenly, people were slamming doors for strangers and looking for ways to help each other. Instead of posting a memory on social media this year, take some time to think about how we met and how we can continue to do so.
Related: Read survivorsthe story of three men who survived 9/11 alive – but their ordeal is far from over.
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