It’s been 15 years since 9/11. 15 years since America watched a jet plane crash into the second World Trade Center Tower on live television. 15 years since we watched in disbelief as first one tower and then the second crumbled to the ground. 15 years since a third plane crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth taken down by passengers in a field in Pennsylvania before it could hit it’s intended target in DC.
Never forget. That has been America’s mantra since 9/11. In the early days, the country came together like no other time in modern history. In our collective horror and grief, we weren’t Republican or Democrat, we were only American.
Never forget. This weekend the phrase is popping up on Facebook and it’s a trending hashtag on Twitter. Lots of hearts and flags.
Never forget. But we have forgotten. One only has to peruse social media to see we have forgotten. No, we haven’t forgotten the horror of 9/11, but we have forgotten what it’s like to be a country united. We have forgotten that it’s not a Republican or Democrat thing. Tomorrow Facebook posts will no longer mention 9/11. #NeverForget will no longer be trending on Twitter. It’ll be replaced with friends and strangers saying hateful things to each other about topics they don’t agree upon. With people questioning each other’s patriotism. With little to no understanding of different perspectives.
This 15th anniversary of 9/11 happens to coincide with the discovery of 11-year old Jacob Wetterling’s remains who had been kidnapped while riding his bike in the small Minnesota town of St. Joseph in 1989. For 27 years Jacob’s parents, siblings, and the people of Minnesota held out hope that Jacob was alive. This week we found out he was murdered the night he disappeared.
We didn’t have the internet in 1989. 15 years ago on 9/11 there was no social media. When people asked Patty Wetterling what they could do to help, she asked everyone to do 11 things that nurture kindness. Her request could not be more timely.
In memory of Jacob and in memory of all the lives lost on 9/11 let our actions show we have not forgotten.
- Be fair.
- Be kind.
- Be understanding.
- Be honest.
- Be thankful.
- Be a good sport.
- Be a good friend.
- Be joyful.
- Be generous.
- Be gentle with others.
- Be positive.