I won't waste your time with the story of the 14 year old version of me finding out about the attacks on 9/11. The day was mainly filled with a confusion and fear I couldn't grasp, in Tucson, thousands of miles away from the destruction of buildings I couldn't have told existed before that day.
I've been reading a lot of stories this week about people's experiences on that day and, to simply put it, they fall into two categories: those who were there and those who weren't. Those who ran to their street in hopes that the news bulletins weren't true and those who had to believe what the TV was telling them. But no matter which group you fell into, you were filled with fear. Whether it be an adrenaline based fear as debris rained down around you and you just wanted to make sure you lived to see tomorrow or those who didn't know if their city would be the target tomorrow.
More importantly, after the fear waned in the hours, days, and weeks after the attack, there was a sense of unity. "United We Stand". This weekend, when most people are focusing on the events of the day itself, please take a minute and focus on the strength we had afterward. Why can't we relive that as well?
On September 15th, 2001, I was very proud to participate in this flag. I actually passed out from the heat during this picture, taken during the moment of silence because it was the only time we would stop cheering. If you look closely at the bottom righthand corner of the flag, you can see that the red stripes are wider than anywhere else in the flag. This is where I was. This is where everyone crammed in to fit as many people as we could. There were hundreds of extra people and we were all proud to be there.
So please, today, take a moment to remember the good as well.