Where were you 15 years ago today? Do you recall that morning?
I worked for an aviation company named “Dallas Airmotive.” I worked in the corporate office as a database administrator. My former boss, Bill Barber, is a retired colonel from the Air Force; he came running into the office that morning shouting that a plane had struck one tower of the World Trade Center. I was thinking that it must have been a freak accident. When the second plane struck, my husband called and told me that we were being attacked by terrorists on our homeland. I froze and began to pray.
Since I worked close to DFW Airport, we were not allowed to leave for quite a while, since all planes were grounded that day. My older kids were in elementary school and my youngest was only four. Lots of parents picked their kids up from school, but ours stayed there. We figured it was best for them to stay there.
I remember how unified the country was during this time. Americans were killed by an evil enemy, and we wanted to conquer that enemy so that this would never happen again. We were not Republicans or Democrats, just Americans clinging to one another; we grieved together, angered together, rectified together.
Today, only 52 percent of Americans said they’re “extremely proud” to be American, a 5 percent drop in only three years, and a drastic drop of 22 percent since 2003, the worried, split year of the Iraq invasion.(recent Gallup poll) “In a country that now seems carved up by door-slamming disputes over race, immigration, national security, policing and politics,” ABC News recently concluded, “people impelled by the spirit of common purpose after Sept. 11 rue how much it has slipped away.”
Politicians are now rewarded for extremism — the hard Left pulls Democratic candidates further in its direction while the hard Right pulls Republicans to its side of the table. President Obama vilifies Republicans in Congress while Republicans in Congress place blame on the president for every problem in this country. Agreement, bipartisanship and mediation have little to no place in Washington today.
I want people to look back on how the country pulled together 15 years ago today and remember that America is at its best when we are unified, not divided.
Peace be with you.