With the 20-year anniversary of the nationally devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11 upon us, I can’t help but wonder, what happened to “never forget?"

The attacks that shook our whole nation to its core and brought us together in shock, fear, mourning — and later strength and pride seem to have been largely forgotten. Maybe the attack itself has not been lost from our memories, but what about our compassion and unity? The love we all shared for our fellow brothers and sisters of this country?  It seems today, we as Americans have completely forgotten how to unite in love for one another and our country.

Today, in the midst of a global pandemic that has rocked our country, along with the rest of the  world, all we can seem to do is argue and show hate for one another. I believe I can say (without argument) that everything that has happened in 2020, and is still going on today, has taken its toll on us all. There is no denying that. But why do we show so much hate toward our fellow Americans simply for being scared, having a different point of view or believing differently than ourselves? Wasn’t that what this great country of ours was built on? Diversity was supposed to be what made this country beautiful and unique — not what divided it.

How about we set aside the masked vs. non-masked, vaccinated vs. unvaccinated, who voted for who, elephant/donkey nonsense! Let’s remember what it feels like to be a country united. Remember what it is like to wave hello to your neighbor (regardless of what flag they fly in their yard). Or smile at a stranger in the grocery store even if they have a mask on and you don’t. Let’s remember what it’s like to root on, in sheer pride, the first responders of this nation.

On this day I’d like everyone to remember the way they felt on that tragic day in 2001. Remember the love and compassion you felt for your fellow Americans. Remember how your heart hurt and tears filled your eyes out of grief for perfect strangers. Remember the strength and pride you felt watching our first responders risk their lives. Remember the candlelight visuals held nationwide. Remember the American flags that flew at half-staff down every street in the country. Remember the second plane hitting, the towers collapsing, the rubble and people stuck under it. Remember the bravery of the people that took down the terrorists on the last plane and saved so many more innocent lives.

Let’s remember that when terror hit our home, we stood together, we cried together, we licked our wounds and came back strong together.

Remember the feeling of unity, pride and overwhelming love we had for our entire nation and everyone in it! Where did that go? We said we would “never forget.”  So how do we remember?

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