You remember where you were on September 11. Do you remember who you were on September 12?
Amidst the grief, the anger, the helplessness; amidst the horror, disgust and fury; amidst the hatred toward the men and then-shadowy force that were responsible for this incomprehensible crime, something surprising emerged.
Party affiliation, nationalism, tribalism, and barriers of almost every kind seemed unimportant, petty, trivial. We regarded each other in a spirit of compassion and concern for our shared well-being. As condolences were sent out from across the country and around the world, as we reached out to family, friends, neighbors and strangers dealing with pain, we became a better people. We set our focus on what unites us, and resolved to overcome the divisions.
Where did that go?
As you encounter the numerous imperatives to "Never forget," you probably think first of that day: the victims, the selfless first responders, the heroes on Flight 93. Then you might remember the days since: the grieving loved ones left behind, those military and police forces who put their lives on the line daily to protect us, the firemen and first responders willing to risk their own safety in order to restore ours.
I hope we can take it one step further, with a focus on the future. As we pray, meditate or reflect, let us all remember who we became on September 12, and aspire to revive that.