Only seven years old at the time, 9/11 for me seems more like a distant dream than a concrete moment in
Scattered images coupled with the raw emotion and panic of the day stick in my mind. For that reason, as
much as I remember the horrific images of the Boeing 767 planes crashing into the World Trade Center towers,
I recall the image of the firefighters hoisting the American flag above the wreckage. Mirroring the famous photo
of the soldiers from Iwo Jima, the firefighters had a sense of pride perhaps unlike any other since World War II.
Today though, the inspiring images of that September day seem almost muted. The country’s politics seem
more polarized than ever and faith in Congress remains at an all-time low. When one looks at the divisive
nature of American politics and in turn the divided populous, the situation can seem overwhelming at best
and downright agonizing at its worst. Quite possibly, as the years go by, the memory of the day becomes less
painful and favors Americans going about their everyday lives.
I would have to disagree. The pain remains for those who lost loved ones and for everyone indirectly affected
by 9/11. If Sept. 11 seems more distant today than in the past, it is time to reflect. We must draw upon and
remember the emotions of that day. Not to bring back the grief, for surely enough has gone around, but to
realize the vast potential of a more united America.
We must of course remember all of the terrible images from that fateful September day and honor the many
lives lost. But, I think we must also remember the way Americans responded to the attacks.
What if we could harness for a moment the unity and sense of pride in our country that existed on Sept.
12, 13, 14 and the weeks following 9/11? What if we could tap into that universal feeling that gripped all
Americans following those tragic attacks?
Yes, we should and must pay honor to the lives lost and to the kids now without parents; however, we can pay
homage to the victims of 9/11 by having faith and pride in our country once again.
As we approach another presidential election, only our third since 9/11, one should remember – whether
voting for President Barack Obama or Governor Mitt Romney – the goal remains to improve the country we all
Now, for different people “how” we improve the country has different meanings. Nonetheless, all Americans
should respect the patriotism and passion their neighbors feel for their country and a particular candidate.
As an undecided voter in the upcoming presidential election, I will give both candidates a fair chance to
impress me, for I will not allow money and political parties to blind me.
My vote will go with the candidate who I think can bring feelings of unity and patriotism to the nation once
again and although I do not agree with all of his policies, perhaps President Obama said it best during his
acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention.
He explained, “a freedom without love or charity or duty or patriotism, is unworthy of our founding ideals,
and those who died in their defense.”
In fact, it is unworthy of those who died on Sept. 11.
Thus, it makes sense to take this 9/11 as one for reflection.
We must remember the images of New Yorkers helping their neighbors and their neighbors’ neighbors.
We must remember how ethnic and political lines blurred in favor of a united America. As we face a rough
economic climate and an ever uncertain future, we must remember a unified America; and now more than ever,
we need it once again.