But on September 12, 2001, we were shaken. Both towers of the World Trade Center had collapsed. A plane guided by terrorists (whose plan was foiled by patriots) crashed in Shanksville, Penn. The Pentagon was crippled. Thousands were killed. The dust had still not settled in New York City, and what would become a near decade of cleanup had barely begun. Our President was staring down the the worst attack on our country's soil. Most of us hadn't processed what happened the day before, but we new one thing: we were united against a common enemy. On September 12, 2001, politics didn't matter; red or blue, we were all Americans. In the days following the disaster, our goals were not about passing or blocking legislation or mudslinging in a campaign. On September 12, 2001, our focus was support for one another - love, patriotism, and a helping hand for your neighbor or even a stranger.
But on September 12, 2010, where are we now? I myself even tweeted yesterday the phrase "never forget," but what is it that we shouldn't forget? Exactly where we were, what we were wearing, and who we were with when we heard the news? The horrific images of the day? The shock, heartbreak and pain we felt for those affected? The heroes that emerged, many who never knew the valor of their deeds? What about the people we were nine years ago today? We were unified. The person across the street or in the next seat in class wasn't just an unknown - he was a fellow American. And we knew, without speaking, that on that day, we were on the same page.
On September 12, 2010, we still have the right to bicker and disagree - that's what makes our country great, and that's what the terrorists were, and still are, trying to destroy. But perhaps just for a moment, the next chance we have to be true patriots, let's do it. Let's truly do unto others as we would have done to us. Extend a hand. Unclench a fist. And truly remember.