Remember We Are All Neighbors

Published 3:23 pm Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Editor, The Herald,

Do you remember what you had for breakfast this morning? Probably. Okay, how about what you had for breakfast seven days ago? Probably not. We tend to only remember things that we attach significance to, things in the past that had a very strong influence on our lives and the way we think. Then there are things that have been burned into our memory. Things like 9/11.

Everyone I know and have talked with not only remembers what happened on the morning of September 11, 2001, but they can, like me, remember exactly where they were when they first heard the news that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center towers. They can tell me who was standing next to them, what their first reaction or thought was, who their first phone call was to, etc. Some of those reading this will have the same recollection of the Kennedy assassination. After almost fifty years, everyone in this nation who was alive at that time can still remember what they were doing when they heard the news that the President had been shot.

This 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy is very painful for those who lost friends and loved ones on that day. It is painful for every American. But rather than dwell on the pain and grief associated with 9/11, I would like for us take a long hard look at what Americans did that day. In the weeks and months after the tragedy, stories of heroism and compassion poured in. Strangers helping, even in some cases risking their own lives, for other strangers. That is the American way – to reach out to others in need.

Then there was the other thing that happened. On Monday we were divided, or at least in our minds. We were rich or poor, black or white, Republican or Democrat, young or old. Then on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, all of that changed. We were all Americans, we all loved our country, we all loved each other, we all wept over those we had lost, we all rejoiced over those who were saved. In one hour – no, one moment – we were united again: One Nation Under God.

Among the other things that you and I remembered last weekend, let us remember how we united after the tragic events of 9/11, let us remember our national heritage, and let us remember that we are all neighbors. God bless you and God bless America.

Daniel Bradshaw

Prince Edward