Today — Monday — marks the 16th anniversary of the horrific terrorist attack on the World Trade Center by radical Islamic extremists — see Mr. Liberal, it rolls right off the tongue — and if you’re an adult now, you likely remember where you were that day when the towers fell.
I remember it rather vividly. I was seventeen-year-old, about to have a birthday in a few weeks. I received a notice in the mail to register for the selective service. The notice made me chuckle. Heck, there weren’t any wars going on anyway. Not like I had anything to worry about. Oh the irony.
Low and behold, just a few hours later, while sitting in English class, my teacher received news from a fellow staff member that a plane flew into the WTC. She flipped on the TV and we began to watch, thinking some horrific accident happened.
This was the thought we all had until the next period when we watched another plane fly into the second tower. It was terrifying. We all knew something was wrong, that we just witnessed the stuff nightmares were made of.
The rest of the day was spent watching the news unfold, knowing the world we lived in was about to change. The sense of security and safety we all felt was shattered into a million pieces as the realization sunk in: we were at war.
During the days following the attack, something miraculous happened. We all set aside our petty differences, folks on right and left, and for a brief, glorious moment in time, we were just plain ole Americans. We stood shoulder to shoulder against a common enemy, boldly proclaiming our common values and beliefs about liberty.
It was truly beautiful.
One of the reasons such unity was possible was due to the stellar leadership of President George W. Bush. Say what you will about the man, but he proved to be a most excellent leader during that time and we are blessed he was the guy in charge.
Bush delivered one of the most iconic speeches of all time, via bullhorn, just a few days after the attack. On this day, it’s only fitting to go back and give it a second listen and remember the many lives lost that tragic and terrible September morning.
via Daily Wire:
The day was September 14. America was still reeling in disbelief from the horror of the Twin Towers being reduced to ashes from al-Qaeda terrorists hijacking and crashing airplanes into them. Bush was initially wary on how to respond to the attacks.
But on September 14, he gave the perfect response as he stood atop the rubble of the Twin Towers with his arm around a firefighter named Bob Beckwith.
“I want you all to know that American today, American today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn,” Bush said to the Ground Zero rescue workers surrounding him through a bullhorn. “The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens…”
One of the rescue workers then shouted to Bush, “I can’t hear you!”
“I can hear you!” Bush responded, and then proceeded to utter the spine-tingling, defiant words that defined America’s response to 9/11.
“I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you!” Bush declared. “And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”
The rescue workers roared with cheers and started chanting “USA! USA! USA!”
How great would it be if we could capture the brotherhood and unity we all shared that day, the love of country we had, and keep it going always, burning bright and warm each and every day?
It’s sad to see how much politics has ripped us apart, how much hatred and division it has caused us over the last sixteen years. While we’ll always have disagreements, we’ll always be somewhat divided, we need each other.
Let’s hope that the next time we all put aside our differences, it’s not due to some awful tragedy that levels the playing field and reminds us of our shared humanity.
Let’s hope it’s a rediscovery of our connection to one another and to God instead.