It is hard to believe that 18 years have passed since September 11, 2001. It is equally difficult to imagine that a second generation of Americans are now growing up with only a historical perspective of that fateful day.
They say that time heals all wounds, but for some reason the pain of 9-11 remains emblazoned upon our Nation’s collective soul. While we all have our own unique recollections of that crystal-clear Tuesday morning, there are certain universal images that will forever endure. It is simply impossible to forget the sights and sounds of first responders rushing into terrible danger to rescue people they had never even met. It is equally difficult to ever lose the thought of the countless Americans who lined up to give blood to those in need, or the image of school children holding hands and singing “God Bless America.” Somehow, from the ashes of that unthinkable horror, emerged an unbreakable spirit, and for a special moment in time our Nation was one.
I will forever argue that the people who knocked down those buildings and crashed those planes did not understand the true core American values. The truth is that history has shown time and time again that our people are at their best when times are at their worst. We might squabble among ourselves and debate the issues of the day, but despite all our faults, Americans stand shoulder-to-shoulder when our liberty is threatened by outside forces. While we should never forget the pain and suffering from September 11, 2001, and must always remain vigilant in defense of our shores, there are also lessons of awe-inspiring valor and unbreakable spirit that mark this iconic day. America is special because of its ability to endure a struggle and grow stronger with each passing generation.
So as we mark this special anniversary, let’s take a moment to hug the ones we love and remember the blessings that have been secured by brave patriots throughout the ages.
I, for one, will turn to the heavens on Wednesday, September 11, 2019, and give thanks for the blessings of this great Nation and the gift of our wonderful community.
Dr. David Bennardo is superintendent of the South Huntington school district.