Memories seem to be extremely short or deluded when in comes to Sept. 11, 2001. But those who haven’t forgotten its jaw-dropping, mind numbing terror, can certainly agree that if any day should be remembered as Patriot Day, it should be Sept. 12 — not the 11th.
It took most of America a full day to digest the horror of the United States’ second Day of Infamy — the first being Dec. 7, 1941 — and muster anything that even closely resembled pride or patriotism. Sept. 11, 2001, most of us were too shocked or scared to function properly.
Watching planes full of people slam into the World Trade Center again, and again, and again. Watching the buildings crumble to the ground — killing thousands of innocents of all nationalities — over, and over, and over until it started to haunt us all like a waking nightmare. One can scarcely conceive the impact it had on those who witnessed the terror firsthand, or those who lost loved ones.
It’s hard to believe it was six years yesterday, as most of us can close our eyes and see it all happening as clear as if it was 2001 all over again. The feeling is different, of course.
The surge of pride in our country’s resilience in the face of terrorism for many has grown into a derision for a costly war that seems to be going nowhere fast.
But that pride, again for most, wasn’t there on Sept. 11, 2001. Few of us felt like patriots as we were visually assaulted nonstop by wide-scale death and destruction on the East Coast.
The 12th was a different story as flags flew throughout the nation in numbers that haven’t been seen in decades. Maybe ever. But it was more than the red, white and blue.
Our patriotism on that day was so vivid it was practically a tangible thing. Everyone across the land was an American and millions banded together to share in the all-too-rare experience.
While we all must remember and commemorate 9/11, we should never forget the true feeling of the day, either. As such, we also must not lose touch with the surge of patriotism that followed the very next day.