ImageToday we remember the tragic events of 9/11/01 in New York City, Washington D.C. and Somerset County, PA.  The acts of individuals with hate in their hearts for people who believe differently is considered terrorism by Western nations but heralded as heroic by their brethren.

How will we honor the fallen dead as we march into the future leaving them behind in history?  Many of the fallen were average Americans going about their day, victims of hate.  Some were truly American heroes that will never be identified as such.  I would like to think if I was in the same situation that I would aid a fallen individual regardless of my own health or their diversity, thank God I have not been tested.  Who on 9/11/01 gave comfort to someone who was about to die even as they died themselves?  We will never know.  We can count the servants, public and private, but we cannot count the simple acts of kindness that was experienced at the scene of the tragedies.  

September 11, 2001 was a day of great sadness and shock.  I was thousands of miles away but witnessed that sadness and shock.  Next to an AFB, my daughter’s high school was full of students with both parents in military service.  The high school was locked down, the children both proud and afraid for their parents who were immediately activated.  My boss was on the phone all morning, his sister worked at the World Trade Center.  My daughter’s friend was supposed to be at the WTC with the rest of her extended family, 30 people, for a tour.  I can only surmise from my personal experiences 2,564 miles away on this day in 2001 that the entire United States was affected.  We were fortunate on the West Coast, my boss found his sister alive but traumatized, the family tour got a late start and missed their tour, counselors were on site for the tearful high schoolers, and all of their parents were o.k.  Not everyone can cite happy endings and carry heavier burdens and reminders of this day.

Today I will be volunteering at a free vehicle safety check point, a private enterprise to get motorists ready for the cold weather coming.  Yesterday, I took my granddaughter with me and delivered food baskets.  I challenge you to find something, small or big, to do today to honor the victims and heroes of 9/11/01.  Fight back against the hate by loving those around you.  Be America today!  Love one another, all of God’s children.

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