It's hard to believe that it's been 14 years since I was sitting in the family room with my backpack on and my shoes untied, more captivated by a radio than any 10-year-old child in this generation has ever been.
I'm saddened today -- not so much for the loss of 14 years ago, nor by the actions of the terrorists. Those feelings, though still tender upon memory, have been eased to a reverence through forgiveness, stories of courage, and hope in the goodness of humanity as thousands reached out to a suffering nation.
But I am saddened by how in such a short time -- 14 short years -- America has remembered the tragedy, but not the need to stand together as a nation, to fight for the ideals and values which birthed this country, to put others before self. As a whole, America appears to have forgotten the lessons we learned about pride, about ignoring threats, about selflessness before personal gain.
Wake up, America. Remember not just the days of dust, debris, destruction, and death. Remember that events like these serve as a wake up call, an easily forgotten reminder that evil is out there. That evil, given any chance, will rear its head and strike the innocent. Remember your part in this, as you sat rooted to the spot watching the Towers fall, the Pentagon burn, the fields of Pennsylvania fill with smoke.
Remember that America needs YOU, the very best you that can be given. Not our ignorance, our pride, our selfishness, our all-about-me needs. It needs our love, our committment to becoming better every day, our fight for freedom and justice for all humanity.
"God bless America, land that I love. Stand beside her and guide her through the night with a light from above."