Have we forgotten? That was the question I was asked this morning in a written piece sent to me by my luv as he quoted the Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” He reminded me (again) that today is the anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy; it was 15 years ago today that terrorist planes flew into the World Trade Center and changed this country forever.
In his piece my luv, who is a 21 year Air Force veteran, spoke about how, for a moment, we all put aside our differences and lived up to the words of indivisibility in the pledge and came together as Americans. For a moment there was no divide along racial, gender, class, religious or political lines. For a moment we were one. One people feeling vulnerable and exposed. One people mourning the loss of lives and possibly the security we may have felt living in the United States of America. One people clinging to each other for comfort, peace and hope.
But what has happened to us? What happened to that moment of unity we shared when our country was rocked 15 years ago by the tragedy of 9/11? Was it, in fact, just a moment?
My luv mentioned in his piece that it seems we are more divided today than ever before. I agree. Whether it be race, political affiliation, religion, or just a difference of opinion on how we should protest or whose lives matter, we are divided and not always willing to see others’ side. Will we ever do better by each other?
Ironically, today is also the one month anniversary of the passing of my youngest brother Rocky who died from colon cancer. Roc was 4 months shy of celebrating his 40th birthday when he passed and only 37 when he was diagnosed; Too young, some would say, to be stricken with such a horrible disease as colon cancer. Roc was a cool dude and had friends of all nationalities. It was not uncommon to walk into the house and see white people, Latino people, Asian people and others who were friends of Rocky’s when we were growing up. He brought everybody home with him! He lived his life that way until the day he died. He luv’d people and they luv’d him.
In his song “Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning“, Alan Jackson reflects on what many of us must have been feeling 15 years ago as we helplessly watched the events of 9/11 unfold. He also reminds us of Faith, Hope and Luv and that the greatest of these is luv. One month ago today, as it did 15 years ago, my world stopped turning when Rocky transitioned from this earthly realm into the realm of Spirit.
There was a time nearly 20 years ago when Rocky and I had a fight and our relationship was strained. With him passing and being physically gone, thinking on that time is painful but I find solace in the fact that that was a short lived time in our lives and that we put aside our differences and grew through that experience and luv’d each other anyway. We leaned on the luv that we had for each other and that experience brought us even closer than we had been before.
What I believe we as humans have forgotten is Luv! As cliche as it seems I believe it is luv that will bring us back to the togetherness we felt on September 11th 2001. I’m also believing that we in this country will put aside any difference we have individually and lean on the luv that we have for this country and each other and allow the memory of 9/11 to bring us closer and not divide us. I’m hoping that we will remember the luv and togetherness that we felt 15 years ago today and that we will do right by each other. Rocky would want it that way.