As you tune in to watch the news and see riots in America’s cities, remember that once we were one.
When you see politicians using every device imaginable to divide this nation further, remember that once we were one.
When you see multitudes of people shot every weekend in places such as Chicago, New York, Atlanta and New Orleans, remember once that we were one.
If it comes as a shock to people — especially those in our millennial generation — it is indeed true. For a while following the most horrific foreign attack on our homeland since the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, Americans of every color, every religion and every political ideology stood together.
Nineteen years ago Friday on a beautiful, crisp late-summer morning, radical Islamic terrorists hijacked four planes to strike a blow against the United States — all of the United States. Two planes tore apart the World Trade Center in New York, while a third slammed into the Pentagon. A fourth plane, assumed to be aimed at either the White House or the U.S. Capitol, never reached its target. American patriots forced their way through armed terrorists and into the cockpit, sending a full airplane into the Pennsylvania countryside saving who knows how many thousands of lives.
Every disagreement ceased. Any notion of race or religion disappeared. It was a time of unity and just a glimpse of what this nation could be if we just stopped tearing it apart at the seams. Even Congress was on the same page, and that body could not agree today that the sky was blue on that day 19 years ago.
Now we find ourselves in a precarious position of watching our people destroy each other. Divisions haven’t been this bad since the 1850s. Even the notion of a “United” States seems to be a dream at best. Will it ever return? Will we ever come back together, galvanizing under a common cause? It certainly doesn’t seem like it.
But make no mistake, there was a time when we were the United States battling a common enemy — not ourselves. In the 19 years that have followed, we have fallen woefully short in being a unified nation. The divisions are so bad that we wonder: if those same terrorist attacks happened today, would we be united?
Even having to ask that question should emphasize the dire situation we are facing as Americans, not Democrat Americans, Republican Americans, Irish Americans, African Americans of Native Americans — simply Americans.
There was a time, though ...