For those of us who lived that terrifying day the details will forever be burned in our brains. We’ll remember where we were and who was with us. We’ll remember the eerie silence in the air when all planes were grounded across the country. We’ll remember the horrifying images and the gut wrenching and raw emotion of the news casters as they brought us the details as they unfolded. We’ll never forget, or will we?
It’s interesting to me that every year on this date, we pull out our patriotic best, honor the first responders, and remember those who served and still serve. We fly the flag, we fill our social media feeds with images of towers, rubble, emotionally wrecking quotes and feelings from that fateful day. But what about tomorrow? What about October 11 or December 11? What about next Tuesday or the following Wednesday?
It seems like these events are remembered and their impact felt once a year. Seriously, we honor the first responders who ran up the steps when everyone else ran down! But what about tomorrow? They’re going to run up those same steps! The men and women who jumped to help will be there next Wednesday to help all over again. And God forbid that an event like this occur again, do you know where these brave souls will be? Yep, right in the thick of it. They’ll run right back up that tower, into that fire, in front of that bullet, march across that hot sand, endure late nights and early mornings. They’ll leave their families at home. They’ll stand shoulder to shoulder to protect the ungrateful men and women who remember them one day a year. And they won’t think twice about it.
Yes! Remember that day. Yes! Honor the fallen. Yes! Celebrate the living. Yes! Pray for those still serving. But don’t stop today. Do it again in two Thursdays when you’re having a bad day. Do it again in the dead of winter when you can’t keep warm and all you want is a warmer climate. Do it again in the sweltering summer heat when it’s just too hot to do anything.
You see they can’t stop. They can’t stop running into fires. They won’t stop charging enemy lines. They won’t stop standing in the line of gunfire. They don’t give up, never give in. Quit is not in their vocabulary! So don’t you quit either. Never quick standing together as a people.
You may not be a bible person, but here’s a great quote A house divided against itself cannot stand. And guess what we’ve become…a house divided. We don’t others to attack our borders or bring down our towers because we do it ourselves. We kill one another because we look different. We belittle one another because we disagree. Hatred has become the normal. We’re anything but a united group of people living in these United States. We’ve become a divided group of people who only care about ourselves.
But on this day of remembering, take a second to remember why they ran into that building. Remember why they climbed those countless flights of stairs. Remember why they stand on the front lines and fight to protect. They do it because they see something the average person doesn’t see. They see a United States of America worth fighting for. They see a people who may be lost in their selfish desires but who are still within reach. So don’t quit being the people this nation was founded to be. It’s time to let our reminding become our living.
Remember them today. Remember them next month and the month after that. But let your remembering become a way of life with the people who live near you. Let’s honor their sacrifice with more than a Facebook picture or a pithy quote that will be deleted tomorrow. Remember 9.11.01. Remember today!