Once again time has rolled around to this horrific day in history, September 11th. Every year since it happened I get sad and anxious all over again, thinking of the events that occurred twelve years ago. Some years I’ve simply cried all day, some years I’ve retreated to a private solace, and some years I’ve become panicked at the memories. This year I want to do something different. Something I haven’t tried before… I want to be happy.
I know that sounds strange and maybe even irreverent, but there are some good things that came from this awful day. Not many, but maybe thinking on these positive actions can displace the sadness and anxiety that is associated with this date.
This came to me this morning as I laid in bed, and turned on Facebook. My good friend Aimee Moore’s status was the first thing I saw. It read: “Let’s Roll.” “Let’s Roll,” the battle cry of Tom Beamer on Flight 93, as he and a bunch of other passengers aboard a doomed flight, charged the terrorists, sending the airplane into a field in Pennsylvania instead of the White House. “Let’s Roll,” was probably the most courageous and valiant story that came from the attacks. Our heroes beat the bad guys. Yes, we lost lives, and yes, it was tragic, but it was the first positive response we’d heard that day. And reading that made me think, you know, there are plenty of positive things that came from 9/11 happening that we couldn’t see at the time, because we were so wrought with grief.
In a world of the Internet and email (remember social media wasn’t quite born yet) we were already becoming a more withdrawn society. We had news at our fingertips and communication with others instantaneously thanks to cellphones and email. Who needed to see each other when you could just pick up a phone or send an email and talk to someone from the comfort of your home? September 11th brought people together. Families left work to be with their loved ones, co-workers leaned on each other in tears, and neighbors, who were strangers, sought peace in one another. We were united as one against the people who hurt our nation.
Along with that it brought a renewed appreciation for law enforcement, the fire department, and the military. Suddenly, the cops weren’t just people keeping the peace or there to pull you over for a speeding ticket. Firemen weren’t just pulling kittens out of trees and dousing run-away kitchen fires. The military weren’t just over seas running drills and guarding us from far away. No, the police and firemen worked together in New York and D.C., pulling people out of the burning buildings, leading the ones who couldn’t see away, and worked tirelessly day after day recovering the victims, so their families could rest their weary souls. As for the military, what didn’t these men and women do? They were immediately called to arms, protecting our borders and flying our flags high, ready to fight. I was in California at the time, right next to Miramar – the Marine Corp Air Station, and the second the news broke that it was a terrorist attack, I heard those jets scramble. I felt safe knowing these guys had our back, front and sides!
Last, but not least, it brought Patriotism back to a nation that was pretty blasé about their country. Flags were flown, country songs became anthems, and the Star Spangled Banner became a song that was no longer just something we sang at sporting events. We united as a nation and showed our pride against a sect of terrorist who thought they could scare us and break down our resolve.
Finally, for many it brought God back into the everyday. Our president asked us to pray for our country and we did. We turned to our churches or religious leaders for advice and comfort. We didn’t just go to church to hear a sermon of hellfire and brimstone. We already had that brewing outside. We went to church for encouragement from God and allowed Him to work in our lives so we could heal from this oozing gash. He moved in people, and little by little we came through.
So in conclusion, yes, it was an awful day. We saw people die, buildings fall and explosions in places we never thought possible. We will never ever forget this kick in the gut, but maybe we can at least try and see what good came from it.
Read Eryn’s latest book in the
Falling for Heroes Series: Falling for Hope
And catch up on the first three books Falling for Shock, Falling for Freedom, and Falling for Phoenix, in the Falling for Heroes Boxset