Never Forget 9/11- Never Remember 2020
There are so many things I'll never forget when I think back to 9/11. One thing I'll never forget is how a month after the attacks, I was at a Yankee playoff game in the Bronx and President George W. Bush threw out the first pitch. He walked proudly toward the mound, waving to the crowd while all 57,000 fans stood and cheered, chanting "U.S.A! U.S.A!" It was incredible and I get chills thinking about it. I remember the jet flyover and the bald eagle that soared in from the outfield. It was electric, but beyond that, it was unifying. I didn't know the people seated next to me inside the stadium, but we all felt like a family. It was quite comforting.
If you ask someone who is old enough to remember the September 11th attacks that happened back in 2001, most people will remember exactly where they were, who they were with, and how the news made them feel and personally affected them. It's been 19 years, but we will never forget. It's impossible.
Another thing that people will never forget is that during the time that passed after the 9/11 attacks we actually cared for one another, checked in on each other, rallied, rebuilt, and regrouped. We were bonded despite our different political affiliations, the color of our skin, or how we worshiped. Our leaders did the best they could to make us feel safe - and we actually believed them.
I would say that without a doubt , 9/11 is the most memorable and historically significant event in my lifetime. It changed the way we travel, it changed the way we reacted to the evils of the world, it changed how we viewed first responders, military personal, medical professionals and even our great flag. Despite the hardships many faced during 9/11, we all felt more patriotic and united as a country.
The second most historically significant event in my lifetime would be the current pandemic that we're experiencing right now. But 19 years later, the country feels completely different. Many of us are going through the same levels of uncertainty, apprehension and confusion we did 19 years ago. But ask yourself this question: In 5 or 10 years, what will you remember about the pandemic? Will anyone remember the pandemic as a time when the country came together? Will anyone remember the pandemic as a time when we could lean on our brothers and sisters for comfort, support, regardless of politics, race, religion, or color of our skin? I think we know the answer to that.
It's too bad really, because now more than ever, we need one another. But in 2020, where friendships and family don't speak to one another because of Facebook posts and Tik Tok videos that offend us, things are vastly different. Our politicians hate one another, blame one another and the divide in this country deepens. I'm not saying that I want to go back in time, but it would be nice to say that we evolved.
Imagine a governor or president blaming a rival party for the attacks during 9/11. Even if they felt it, they wouldn't say it. In 2001, politicians didn't try to rile up a fan base to bolster votes. Back in 2001 our leaders led, our media reported fairly, and social media didn't exist. Red didn't hate Blue. Blue didn't hate red. Our colors blended. And don't get me wrong, it wasn't exactly simpler times - we dealt with our fare share of stuff. We just dealt with stuff, better.
In 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, we can't go to games and the President is asked to not throw out the first pitch. I wonder how our country in 2001 would have dealt with the pandemic versus the way it's being handled now. The two most significant historical events in many of our lives separated by 19 years in terms of the calendar, but light years in terms of unity.
There were many things in 2001 that I will never forget, and there are even more things in 2020 I wish to never remember.