I Love 9/11
I absolutely love 9/11.
What did you say?
I said: I LOVE 9/11.
What the hell, Wells? What kind of sick jerk are you???
Let me explain.
I have grown tired of our country recently. We’ve become fractured in a variety of ways; we’re all just separated now. Be it race, or politics, or generational gaps… We’re just not the country I remember. I can’t even watch a football game anymore without seeing an athlete make some kind of political statement. If you stand by those statements, I respect your opinion. I’ve made it a point to try and understand differing opinions from my own perspective and that you would respect my opinion that there are just times when I don’t want to hear it. I just want to watch the game, and I can’t even do that anymore. The media and the social networks, they offer no peace.
But 9/11…. 9/11 is different. We tell the stories of where we were, how it affected us. We talk with strangers about it, we share our feelings with our co-workers, our friends, with people we stand with in lines at the local McDonalds. It brings us all back into the fold, it’s the horrific memory that resets us all. It reminds us of who we are in this world; from the darkest moment in our country, it has lasted as the redefinition of perseverance, defiance, hope, courage…. Togetherness.
We have suffered together, we have mourned together. We have remembered together.
And just like that, we are Americans again. In the irony of ironies, it has become our finest hour. And it happens every year.
I love it. I do.
I love our country, and that love carries to my countrymen. On 9/11, I don’t see class status, or politics, or radicals. I see my brethren at the grocery store, at school drop off, I see you walking down the street, exercising and cooking out. I see the children who didn’t even exist on that fateful day, now being rambunctious and happy at the playground, and it is during moments like these that I love that our country didn’t bend under the weight of such loss. Our country was tested at its core, and it rose to the challenge. Those playground children are here now and they live under the banner of freedom that would not fall even though buildings did.
I am so proud. So proud of my fellow Americans.
I just wish it could be like this every single day. I wish we could unify, carry, bond like this all the time. Our country is so great, it is so deserving of this family. We owe it to ourselves and each other to be this way all the time. We owe that debt to those we have lost.
So yes, I love 9/11. It brings me back to the America I once knew, and the America I believe we will be again. One day 9/11 will be a foundation for a national theme, a national culture. A norm of unity, of one nation under God. It will be this way every day.
What I trust in now is this: Americans will never forget. I will never forget. The time is coming where we will remember each morning, each night, and when that day comes, we will look to each other just as we did fifteen years ago.
And we will rise together again.
Jason Wells is the President and Founder of the National Advancements for Proactive Safety educational non-profit organization committed to providing a safe community through intervention processes, as well as a board member of the National Senior Citizens Committee. He is a former Special Agent with the United States Secret Service, and holds a Masters of Science with highest honors in Strategic Security and Protection Management he is a weekly contributing writer to the online publication Robious Corridor and has been featured in the Huffington Post, Fatherly.com, Slate and most recently in Forbes.