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September 11th 2001 – Eleven Years Later

As I sit and look out my office window, I’m reminded of the crystal clear blue skies that we saw in New York City on 9/11/01.

I think of the lives that changed that day.  I think of the lives that ended that day.  I think of how the United States changed that day.

Faith and I were living in Wichita, Kansas, at that time.  We were engaged and our wedding was set for September 15th, 2001. Faith and her mom were up early that morning, preparing things for the wedding (her father had started a road trip to Oklahoma to visit an old Army buddy). I had been up until 5:30am (central) doing work, because Tuesday would be my last day on the air and in the office until after the wedding.

After the first plane hit, a close friend our ours (Brian) called. I sleep through almost anything and since Faith was already awake, she answered.  Brian told us to turn on the TV.  His sense was that the crash wasn’t an accident at all, that it was terrorism.  Faith and Brian were on the phone together when the second plane hit.  Then Faith came upstairs and woke me up.

Oh, how different the world became with each new event – 8:46, 9:03, 9:59 and 10:29.

Remember when ALL of us stood together?  We were united in the resolve to stand up to those who harmed our brothers and sisters, our fathers and mothers, our husbands and wives?

I really was going to write something profound, but a friend of mine of Facebook actually took the words out of my mouth …

Something broke in us and now we stand on opposite sides of the political aisle, casting epithets. Some try to push God into the discussion, others try to push God out. We can’t bear to listen to each other. The level of discourse has devolved into a shouting match that makes Jersey Shore look like Meet the Press. Democrats block Republican initiatives as a matter of course, Republicans block Democrat initiatives as a matter of course. Non-partisans are pushed out of their respective parties. We are ALL guilty here.

I love this country and I hate what’s happening to it. We will never agree on everything, but I think we agree on more than we think. Surely we can do better. If we don’t change and learn to be more collaborative, our country will continue to decline. The wound that Al Qaeda inflicted on this day eleven years ago is still bleeding. We need to stop the hate or we will bleed to death.
Maybe we all need to remember our unity on 9/11, 9/12 and in the weeks and months that followed.  I don’t know about you, but I’d sure like to have that back.  Then we can continue moving ahead.

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