I always watch the morning news with my coffee. I like to know what's going on in the world before I start my day. It just helps to put my small piece of the pie into perspective, but I wasn't watching that day. It was a different day. I had broken my leg in a high school soccer game just a few nights before so it was a struggle just to get out of bed that day. I could barely put my jeans on, so turning the morning news on that particular day wasn't on my mind. It was a different day, but not for the reasons I had thought.
There was a blistering noise coming from the driveway. It had been sounding for several minutes. It hadn't stopped. The sound of my buddy's car horn waiting to pick me up for class didn't help me hobble through the house on my crutches any faster, but I heard it. As I finally made it out and opened the passenger door, his ghostly face could only utter, "HAVE YOU HEARD?" It had just happened minutes before, probably while he was sitting in my parent's driveway blaring that damned horn. Until that day, I had never heard anything like this. That day was a different day.
As I heard what had happened for the first time, I also saw for the first time. I saw a divided country unite as one nation. I saw a country weep together as we watched 24 hour news coverage for days on end. No one was concerned with watching the conservative channel instead of the liberal channel, they were all the same. I saw a country pray together for their fellow countrymen, despite their religion. I saw a man risk his own life crawling through the rubble to save another man, despite who he voted for or the color of his skin. I saw a country pull itself up by its bootstraps and show the world that we were one nation.
I saw a lot of hate in the world on September 11, 2001, but I saw a whole lot more love in the world in the days, weeks, and months that followed. Sixteen years have passed. A lot has changed in the years since. That unity I felt as we wept for some 2,000+ lives lost is a distant memory to most. There is a lot of hate and division in the world and this country today, but I know that there is a lot more love and unity. I have seen it. I have heard it.
NEVER FORGET, Friends.