Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing 20 years ago today. The days following might be fuzzy, but we recall that we were united as Americans, as neighbors, to support our leaders as they battled terrorism on our shores.
Back then, in moments of national upheaval, it was a natural reaction to support our President, whether an R or a D was next to their name. Sadly, I cannot say those same impulses run through every citizen as we grapple with today’s turmoil.
One thing we can all agree upon is to recall the heroism of everyday citizens who stopped to help those trying to escape. I imagine they knew that a delay of a few precious moments might cost them their lives. We are forever grateful to the heroism of those on Flight 93. They gave the ultimate sacrifice in the fields of Somerset County, PA.
Today I will be thinking about the first responders, the New York firefighters and police who rushed up the stairways towards the fire while others ran down to escape. The Pentagon attack killed everyone on board American Airlines Flight 77 and 125 people inside that massive building.
The 9/11 Memorial & Museum site explains the unexplainable for those looking for a deeper connection today. They wrote about another observance that I did not know:
“A massive rescue, relief, and recovery effort began in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. Recovery operations lasted for nine months at Ground Zero, ending on May 30, 2002. In the years since, many people who worked on the rescue and recovery, survived the attacks, or were lower Manhattan residents are sick or have died from 9/11-related injuries and illnesses after being exposed to hazards and toxins. A ceremony held each year on May 30 at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum observes the anniversary of the formal end of the recovery operations at Ground Zero and honors the sacrifices of all those who are sick or have died.”
Let us take a moment to remember what we lost on this September day and say thank you to the everyday heroes – our fellow Americans – for their kindness, their bravery and their faith in the United States.
Charlotte Valyo, CCDC Chair