The United States is coming off two major destuctive hurricanes in as many weeks but today we as a nation reflect back 16 years to Sept. 11, 2001.
For those of us old enough to remember we can’t forget what we were doing on that morning. We can’t forget how our hearts dropped and our world turned upside down. We all have our stories and we have our memories.
16 years ago I was in my third year as a paramedic in Dallas, Tx. My partner and I were coming off a brutal 12 hour shift the night before. We headed West on I-30 into Dallas and the city skyline was bathed in low clouds. I told my partner it looked the city was on fire from the red warning lights glowing on the roof tops of the building. It was an eerie feeling.
I left work as soon as the shift ended, my partner stayed behind to sleep at the facility because his drive home was an hour-long. My wife woke me up to the news of a plane flying into the World Trade Center. We know now that wasn’t the case entirely. Four planes total would destroy this nation.
I spent the next week on emergency call-in status as we waited for another attack. The skies were quiet as no planes flew overhead. In silence we did our job and said our prayers.
The days and weeks following the tragedy brought forth a unified nation that we had not seen since the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Together as one unified America we threw race and religion out the window. We stood shoulder to shoulder as brother and sister. In hindsight? How little it lasted.
16 years later that unified nation is once again divided and has been for years. It’s such a shame how quickly we all are to forget how to care for one another instead waiting for more tragedy to bring us together. Like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Perhaps reflection can help heal some newly opened wounds. Sadly I doubt that it will.
Today marks 16 years since families lost their husbands and daughters, wives, and children, sons, and more. 16 years that they still work to overcome. Today we should reflect on their losses and remember what could have been gained by those moments of terror. So remember. Remember those that were lost, those that survived, and how we as one nation came together.
And never forget.