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A moment frozen in time

September 13, 2013
Shepherdstown Chronicle

It is Sept. 11 that I pen these words and in doing, remember the day 12 years ago when events took place that we thought would never happen on American soil.

The day dawned much like the day today, sunny with clear blue skies promising just a touch more of summer. As I sat at the Remembrance Ceremony at Independent Fire Company, it was that I remembered, the beautiful skies as I watched, along with the rest of the country, as those planes struck and the towers fell.

Sitting at my office in Charles Town at that time, all of our staff gathered around the TV to watch in between getting our paper ready for publication. Like so many, we were shocked, saddened, amazed at what we saw. I know we all placed calls to loved ones to make sure they were okay. We were thankful we knew no one who may have been in harm's way that day.

But in the not knowing, we still grieved for those who lost, for those who did not know answers, for a nation that thought an attack of such magnitude could not or would not happen here. How quickly it happened. How quickly our world changed.

And with those planes taking the lives of so many and leaving wonder, grief, fear in their wake, the country pulled together. I remember people standing in line to donate blood. I know many fire and rescue personnel who packed to head to New York to work in the rescue efforts. Neighbors spoke to each other some who had never done so before. People were kind, offering greetings or just a nod; but some recognition of their fellow man.

Now 12 years later, even though we gather together at ceremonies like the one held locally and we post on our social media sites, "We Remember," do we really? In the time span since this country was attacked, we have seen more division and hatred in this country than we have in many, many years. We have seen politics tear us apart and racial tensions brought back to the forefront in our history. We have seen a lack of acceptance of responsibility on the part of our citizenry and a disregard for what is right and wrong.

While the grief and sadness from the events on 9-11 are ones we hope to never face again, we need to dig deep and find the feelings of unity and pride in our nation and in our communities that rose to the occasion when dealing with such a devastating act of terror. We need to have the love of country, love of neighbor, not be a moment frozen in time, but one that is lived each day.

 
 
 

 

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