Four years. Four years ago today the world tipped off it's axis for a moment. For days no one knew if it was over. For days no one knew why.
I remember clearly the morning of September 11th, 2001. If was a rougher morning than usual for me, even before I knew of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I didn't watch the morning news, didn't have CNN in the background as I got ready for my day, never heard the radio. As I walked to the bus to go to school a neighbor mentioned that an airplane had flown into one tower of the WTC. Aeronautics not being my forte, I thought maybe a plane could "accidentally" fly into a building. It wasn't until I arrived at school and saw the footage on television that I realized how serious it was.
In all major catastophic events it's that complete trance in front of a television that connects us. We all want to know everything, we all want to feel safe. I'm not sure how watching as people jump from a burning and soon to collapse building made anyone feel safe, but it seems across the nation we all were transfixed. The only voice I remember hearing for days after 9/11 was that of Peter Jennings. I remember watching him as he said he called and checked on his kids. I remember wondering who would call and check on the kids of those who lost their lives on that fateful day in September. I remember wondering if Cronkite's voice would have been much the same as Jennings' in the fateful moments of November 1963.
Honestly, I thought the anniversary of 9/11 would come and go without much thought. At least from me. But this morning it was on my mind, every time I looked at the calendar and saw "Patriot Day" it was on my mind, and then I turned on the television and saw the devastation of Katrina. New Orleans and New York City hold so many similarities. We rallied around New York, we even watched Yankee games. Now is the time to rally around New Orleans. Instead of all this talk about the city of corruption and how this was God's wrath coming down upon the wicked, it is time to rally. I'm not saying the Saints need our support or that those of who don't watch football should start, but instead of chastising a people in such despair, maybe we should fly the flag a little higher, count our blessings, give as we can, and rally.
Today on the anniversary of a day that brought this country to an ultimate low with the highest sense of unity that followed, let us learn from it and apply that lesson to another time of uncertainty, fingerpointing, and recovery. We're the greatest nation in the world. If we can survive an act of terrorism bringing us ever closer and united, we can survive a natural disaster.