“Never Forget”

Earlier today I received a notice that I had been mentioned in a Facebook posting by a person whose name I did not immediately recognize. When I investigated I found it was part of a thread started by Meredyth Censullo of ABC Action News regarding “Where Were You When America was attacked” I read some of the responses and I remember vividly every event of that day. I remember being on the air for 14 straight hours, I remember the mayhem, the tons and tons of information coming at me. I remember sitting in the courtyard of the radio station directly under the flight path of TIA and how silent the sky was.

I remembered a year later when Braden and I went to Ground Zero, I remember the smell of that pit, soot and ash still lingering a year after. I remember the bagpipes, the tears and that never-ending list of names.

But as we enter into this 10th anniversary weekend, I am reminded that ours should not be to remember but to never forget. To ‘remember’ is to recall the tragedy where we were, who was there and how it tore us all apart. To ‘Never Forget’ to me, means so much more. To never forget is to stoke the fire of anger, or sadness and of resolve. To never forget means to recall that overwhelming sense of pride and community we shared as ONE nation, how we set aside what were really petty differences and act as one strong overwhelming voice saying in unison ‘never again.’

I choose not to run the pictures in my mind over and over and over of people leaping to their death to avoid being burned alive, I choose not to watch those towers fall over and over. I choose to remember the smiling faces of strangers on the street of New York genuinely asking ‘how are you?’ and bidding me to ‘have a good day.’ I choose to recall the words of my president telling us to not let this break our spirit and to go about their lives in open defiance of the design and desire of those who would want us harmed. I will never forget the faces of those who killed our innocents nor their hatred; I will never forget the ugliness of terrorism.

Above all, I choose to never forget the sight of hundreds of thousands of American flags flying in front of our homes and businesses. I choose to Never Forget the pride of being an American at our greatest hour.


I could leave my thoughts here but given the present state of our union, I cannot. Even as we as one nation look back at our collective tragedy, I am compelled to say that we are indeed anything but that: ONE nation.

We are now a nation of ‘me’, ‘us’, ‘them’ not a nation of ‘we.’ There are those who want nothing more than the fabric of our Country to be torn apart for no other reason than to promote their personal agenda and elevate themselves. They bombard us with bits and pieces of information: sound bites and clever speeches designed specifically to scare us, anger us, push us further and further apart. They pin-prick our deepest fears, telling us our families livelihood is in deep danger and it is the fault of the person at the pointed end of the finger who is to blame. They foster hatred toward other Americans. I consider these people terrorists.

In this nation’s rich history, there have been epic battles. Not the battles won and lost on the field but those fought in the court room, in the halls of Congress and in the White House. Even in our darkest times, we were still able to reach compromise and conclusion without the venom and hatred we see and hear every day in 2011. We now live in a time when members of Congress openly disrespect the President of the United States and when people spit in the face of their elected officials.

It is dangerous and it will destroy us. We don’t need Al Qaeda or anyone like them to bring their form of terrorism to our shores. I firmly believe that they have realized that to openly and physically attack this country accomplishes one thing: to awaken a sleeping giant. We don’t need that kind of terrorism, we have our own, home grown. The best part of this type of terrorism, you don’t need explosives. All you need is destructive rhetoric a camera and a microphone.

So, during this anniversary weekend enjoy time with your family, remember if you wish but never never forget. This is the greatest nation on the planet and it is up to us, you and me, not our elected officials to restore its glory. The war on terror begins at home.

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