“I sit before my computer screen with a lump in my throat and tears threatening to cloud my eyes.
I’ve spent the evening watching news reports, replays and press conferences.
I want to turn off the TV, but I can’t.
I’ve never been one of those people who slows to look at car wrecks, but I cannot seem to turn away from this horror.
The images of burning buildings, of people fleeing in terror, and the crumbled ruins of lives parade across my screen. They seem surreal now, after so many hours- but they’re far too powerful to ignore.
Stunned. Awed. Nauseated. Any of these adjectives fit me, at the moment.
They also fit everyone I’ve spoken with on this sad, September day.
It is a date, no doubt, that will be as significant and awful to my generation as Pearl Harbor was to the generations of my parents and grandparents.
You didn’t have to have friends or family in New York or DC to feel the grief Tuesday- you just have to be human.
By the time you read this, you’ll have heard... speculations, allegations, and pontificating. And, no matter what you’ve heard, there’s going to be more.
So many conflicting reports. So many rumors. What are we to make of this?
I’m a sports writer- and a part-time one, at that. How do I begin to comment on the savagery perpetrated against our nation?
With care for the victims and heroes- that’s the only way I can think of.
The who’s, how’s, and why’s were discussed late into the night... They will surely continue to be discussed for weeks, months, or- possibly- years to come, but they are of little import to the victims and their families.
That our country perseveres, that people were saved, that our nation will endure and strengthen- these are the stories we need to focus on now.
'No one is going to diminish the spirit of this country.'- George W. Bush
Steve and Allison have both written in past issues about what they believe the Spirit of this paper represents. It is now, in a time of national tragedy, that the Spirit that I believe we represent is strengthened.
I believe the Spirit is a Spirit of family, of community, of being there for your neighbor, of helping those in need, and a Spirit of faith.
That Spirit... doesn’t end with our coverage area- it’s a Spirit that encompasses our entire country.
To pull together on a community-wide, county-wide, state-wide, and national level to demonstrate to the people responsible for this act that we will not cower before any one, at any time, no matter what the consequence- we will show our Spirit proudly. That is the message we must send to the cowards responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
It’s our duty- and our privilege- to make sure that Spirit isn’t tarnished by these vulgar attacks.
My hope is that this tragedy brings us closer together as a nation, uniting us to stand together- not just against this threat, but beyond it, as well- and that it instills the Spirit of this nation in us all...”
Bean Spouts from The Spirit of the Westside; Volume Two, Issue Number Ten, September 20, 2001
“Our country changed last Tuesday. There is no way around it.
The fanatics behind these horrible events sought to tear our nation apart. They sought to bring down our country. We may have staggered, but we have not fallen. And their plans appear to have backfired.
Despite the gut-wrenching horror played out in the northeastern part of the United States last week, there was cause for our citizenry to rejoice: so many people lining up to help in New York that they were turning people away; people lined up at Red Cross blood drives around the country were filled to capacity.
And, everywhere you look, American flags.
This country has come together in the last week and a half in ways unheard of since World War II. Everyone you meet wants to help.
That solidarity and renewed is what will enable our country to face the difficult times ahead, and prevail in the face of evil.
If ever there was a time to put our petty jealousies and prejudices behind us, it is now.
Now is the time to get to know the kid bagging your groceries, the older lady ringing up stuff at your preferred 'Mart.' These people are members of your community and your neighbors.
Now- most of all- we are all Americans...”
September 6, 2011.
2,977, victims of terrorist attacks- killed in one horrific day ten years ago.
As of March 14 of this year, 5,921 American military personnel have been killed and 42,673 wounded in the ten years since that day.
Remember them, as well.
Honor them all.
Renew the Spirit of cooperation, patriotism and solidarity that was prevalent in the days, weeks and months after that painful day. We owe them that- all of them.
Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or 10 more years.