September 11th is always a hard day for me. I watch everyone go about their normal lives like this day really is just another ordinary day for them. For me, I can’t help but remember the horror of watching the planes consecutively crash into the two towers and the panic as I went through my mental rolodex of who might be in them that I knew. I think about Cheryl Cutlip and the wonderful work she did afterwards with Project Dance, giving dance to NYC as a gift in Times Square. Getting to perform “Cute” as a duet with Mike Minery was a privilege, and seeing all the other performers united in dance was, too — Jared Grimes, Ad Deum… there were so many of them.
Chuck and I visited Ground Zero during that trip, and at that point, it was fairly “cleaned up”. But in reality, it was still a heap of destruction and chaos that just cut to the core when you looked at it. Those images are burned in my mind as much as the ones we all remember from the news (or some of you from living out the horror of it in proximity).
Today my four-year-old asked me why September 11th was important, and I had to tell him that before he was born, some crazy, mean men thought it would be a good idea to fly their plane into a building and that it collapsed. I hesitated to tell him, but I thought, “Why not?” He should know that not everyone is good, and not everyone loves America like we do.
For generations, our ancestors have fought American wars and have always been proud to be Americans, proud to fight for freedom, to stand for truth and liberty, and to be beacons of hope to corners of the world where there seems to only be darkness. As I research my genealogy, I’ve learned that we have had a relative in every American conflict except the current one. I’m proud to be a daughter of patriots, and I’m glad that my children are, too.
Do I like the current state of affairs in Washington? No. Do I like the economic chaos? Who in their right mind does? Despite our political/economic/social/moral differences, we have one thing in common – we are all Americans. We have an obligation to remember the men and women who died at the hands of hateful terrorists that day, and we must never forget the men and women who give their lives for us as we sit here in safety and comfort at our computers. I hope that you will join me in remembering that we live in the great nation of the United States of America, land of the free and home of the brave.
“And I’m proud to be an American,
Where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
Who gave that right to me.
And I’ll gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her ’til the end,
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land…
God bless the U.S.A.!”