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Don Severe: United we stand

Don Severe
Dillon
Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in the attacks at the World Trade Center, pauses at his son's name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial before the 10th anniversary ceremony at the site, Sunday Sept. 11, 2011, in New York. (AP Photo/Justin Lane, Pool)
AP | AP

The tenth anniversary of September 11th seemed to take on a meaning more significant than in any years past. Is this because citizens of the U.S. are now more united to this cause than since the first year of this tragedy? Or, were we temporarily rallied by the hours of media blitz on this subject?

It is a tough question with hope for unity as being the answer. Is it the catalyst for bringing us back together for a common cause or is it to be short lived, a temporary anomaly? Of course, I do not know!

Last Sunday we viewed, on TV, hours of historical stories of the tragic 9/11 attack and the days that followed. Lynne and I attended a local tribute to 9/11 victims, for those who were killed and those who survived. Honor was brought to the first responders, the thousand of fire fighters, police, EMTs and the like. The tribute was launched with the singing of our national anthem and the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. Following the sharing of several 9/11 personal stories, the event ended with the singing of “God Bless the U.S.A.” – a song that made us stand tall.

As stated by one of the many TV commentators about the attack of September 11, it was the largest mass murder to take place on U.S. soil in the history of our nation. And it was like nothing that we could have ever imagined. Our lives were inextricably changed forever.

Despite the disunity that began to develop about a year after the 9/11 attacks and which have persisted since, this anniversary seemed to indicate a ray of hope that we will come back together, again, for a common cause.

We can’t rely on politicians and bureaucrats to lead the way to unity. We must do it ourselves, by each of us remembering who we are as citizens. Never should we forget the thousands of Americans who have sacrificed their lives so that we can live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. If we feel ourselves forgetting, a visit to a national cemetery and/or VA facility may help bring back into focus the unselfishness of others who have made it possible for us to remain free.

As with the mantra that we should not let our military troops die in vain, neither should we let those who died on 9/11, be forgotten.

The question is, what will it take to continue this feeling of unity in our country? How can we set aside our political and ideological differences returning to civil discourse?

We must never forget there are ruthless enemies lurking in the shadows, waiting for an opportunity to destroy the world that we know. They don’t wear uniforms of enemy combatants, but hide in the shadows of our cities and towns waiting to strike down innocent civilians with wanton cruelty. Some live among us, and they hate us. Yet they are cowards who strike out in the most inhumane ways for a terribly misguided cause. Ironically, their leaders have such distorted concepts of human life that they are willing to sacrifice the lives of their own followers to fulfill their satanic lust for the blood of others.

There have been the mottos that brought our common unity and resolve into focus. Live free or die! Give me liberty or give me death! Remember the Alamo! Remember the Maine! Remember Pearl Harbor! Now let’s “Remember 9/11” and never forget who we are!

United we will stand!


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