This past weekend marked the tenth anniversary of the utterly devastating terrorist attacks on our country. Retrospectives and remembrances were all over the TV, newspapers and internet — as they should have been. We must never forget that horrible day, or those that lost their lives.
But with few exceptions, I saw very little mentioned about the aftermath of 9/11. (One glowing exception is Heather Elias’ post, Remembering, Reflecting, and an Opportunity for Change. It’s a fabulous piece, go read it. I’ll wait for you…)
This morning I was walking along a bike/jogging path near my house. The temperature was a perfect 71 degrees and the remnants of last night’s rain clouds made for a spectacular sunrise. Thinking about all the work this weekend that took place to set up the Tempe 9/11 Healing Field — putting up and then taking down almost 3,000 flags honoring 9/11 victims — and thinking about what Heather wrote, I was wondering why it was that we lost that… togetherness… the country felt in the days following 9/11.
Eight people jogged past me this morning. I said a warm, “Good morning!” to every one of them. Care to guess what the responses I got were?
Five people completely ignored me. Two had head phones on so maybe their excuse was they didn’t hear me. The other three looked me right in the eye. Right through my eyes actually, and said nothing. I might as well have not even been there.
Two people smiled slightly but said nothing.
One said “good morning” back.
Remember the days that followed the 9/11 attacks? American flags were everywhere. People were nice to each other. People were patient. In just a couple of hours that horrible Tuesday morning we had our perspectives radically adjusted. And honestly, adjusted for the better. There was a sense if unity in the air, a sense of togetherness.
Ten years later that seems to have been lost. So many seem to be back at the grind, thinking of themselves, trying to get ahead. Ignoring a fellow citizen that greats them with “good morning!” on a beautiful day.
It’s rather sad.
September 11, 2001 was a monumental day in history. The devastation and loss was unimaginable. But there was some good that came out of that day. Of course I hope and pray we never experience another day like September 11, 2001. But I do find myself wishing we could have some of those good feelings from the day’s after…