Over my breakfast this morning, I read the chapter in George W. Bush's Decision Points about September 11. I then read the full text and watched the video of his address to the nation from that night ten years ago. Prompted by a friend's post on Facebook, I listened to John Adams' On the Transmigration of Souls as I got ready for the day. Feeling thoroughly emotional about the tenth anniversary of 9/11, I headed off to church. It struck me as magnificently ironic that even as I mourned and remembered that pointed attack on American liberties, I was exercising my freedom of religion. I cried as we sang "My Country 'tis of Thee." I smiled as I spent the evening after church talking to my family. I cried again as I listened to President Obama speak at the Kennedy Center tonight. And I smiled when I saw footage of him walking with President Bush around the new memorial in New York City. (And I'm sure I'll cry, once again, as I sit down to watch Remember Me when I finish with this post.) It has been a day of reflection, a day of both sorrow and gratitude.
The PBS special I was watching included a video interview of a woman who said what stands out most about that day is the fear, that America will always be in fear that something like that can happen again. I couldn't disagree more. I feel safe, protected, and defended. I think what stands out most about that day is the heroism of the passengers of Flight 93. I think they encapsulate everything that is American--seeing a problem, voting on a solution, and taking it upon themselves to protect the lives of their fellow Americans.
As our president pointed out tonight, the attacks of 9/11 changed so
much in America, but so much still remains the same. We are still one
nation, under God. E pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one.