13 years ago this morning a man kissed his wife goodbye on his way to work. A brother and sister waited at the bus stop as they waited to go to school. And a father and son had an argument that broke them apart. And it was in between these moments, that the foundations of America were shaken forever.

The World Trade Center was attacked on the morning of September 11, 2001. The attack on the Twin Towers seemed to stop time itself.  By the time the second plane struck the South Tower, the eyes of the entire world gathered in awe at this act of terror.

Before moving on, I want to address everyone who experienced a loss from 9/11. Words cannot express my sorrow. There was no good that came from that day, except for the efforts of everyone who lent a hand to help.

September 12, 2001. Our nation seemed to wake up together. There was a sense of community and union I have never experienced. I saw an older man with a flat tire on the side of the road with 3 strangers helping. Lines in the downtown Starbucks were filled with conversation, community and a sense of patriotism instead of stale gossip and glazed expressions. There was an American flag outside of every household, business and car to let everyone know what we stood for. Freedom. No matter what. No matter the cost.

For the next 2 years, there was no sense of “alone”. Americans were marked by this event and we weren’t going to stand by and take it. If there’s anything i’ve learned about community, it’s that in the midst of great tragedy, people come together and care for one another. All barriers become non-existent, any cultural divide is broken and love seems to triumph at the end of the day. That’s stuck with me over the years and I believe i’ve taken them as aspirations wherever I go.

I don’t believe in a lot of talk when it comes to reflecting on events like these. But from this kid in Charlotte, NC I send my prayers to the families affected and a salute to what this country represents.


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