10 years ago I had just returned back to work after an extended maternity leave. However, my younger son was sick on September 11 and I was home watching Good Morning America or the Today show…I saw the news break. I watched as the second plane hit the second tower. I was in another room when I heard about the crash in PA and DC.
I, like the rest of the world, was shocked and the only thing I knew was that I did not know what to expect next. I went to pick up my older son from school. I was one of many parents there picking up their kids.
I was an IT Recruiter and after September 11th, my career in that field ended. I decided to return to waiting on tables. This gave me the flexibility to be home with my son and attempt to start my own company.
Months later I was working at On The Border. I do not remember the date, but Bush had asked all Americans to light a candle to remember the victims at a specific time around sunset. It might have been the one-year anniversary – but I remember everyone was still so shocked and raw, it does not seem like a year had passed.
The restaurant was packed that night. Each table had a candle on it. At the specific time, every person left their table, walked out to the parking lot and lit their candle. Someone starting singing America the Beautiful. It was like a scene from a movie. Everyone joined in. We did not stand there as Democrats or Republicans, or Tea Partiers, or Libertarians. We did not stand there as Christian, or Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu. We stood there as people united in grief and in love for our country.
I am sure we have not lost that unity. But we seem so determined to be divided. We want to label everyone and argue every little point. We are against ideas and plans more than we are for anything. Everyone is focused on what is being taken away from them instead of what they are willing to give for the greater good.
10 years later, I can still remember that unity and I wonder why today we are so divided.