September 11th 2001: A Retrospective and Never Forgetting our Flag

by September 11, 2013 09/11/13

It’s with a heavy heart each year that I reflect on the events surrounding September 11, 2001. Where I was, what emotions I felt when I realized what was happening. As the years go by, the count now being at 12, I often wonder how everyone else remembers. Do they pause for a moment of silence at the precise time each of the four planes went down? Did they know anyone personally that perished? What goes through the collective minds of our nation on Patriot Day?

New York City Skyline

Something that I remember each year was the overwhelming sense of unity the nation had in the few months that followed the tragic occurrences in New York, Washington, D.C. and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Do you remember all the American Flags flying proudly, the flag stickers that use to be affixed to car windows and the spirt that seemed to exude from every person you spoke with? Have we as a people forgotten what that felt like? Have we healed enough to let Sept. 11th pass each year with little more than a quick realization of the significance throughout our busy day? I for one wish our country still exhibited that cumulative consciousness. However, I do feel that it’s no longer there like it was back in 2001. I understand it may be an unrealistic wish to have the nation in the same frame of mind in the months after 9/11, but I don’t think I can ever stop wishing for that.

I proudly saluted my flag this morning, as I lowered it to half-mast on this National Day of Service and Remembrance. Along with an older retired gentleman in my neighborhood, we’re the only ones that have flag poles or flags flying each day. I’ve often wanted to stop and ask the man why he doesn’t lower his flag on days like today, but I never have and probably never will. Each person remembers in their own way and what’s important is that they’re paying their respects.

The American Flag means a great deal to me, both as a Veteran and an American. It’s a symbol of freedom and portal of sorts to look back into all its stood for throughout its time and to remember all those that have perished defending it. Remember those that have come before us and those no longer with us this day, whether victims of the tragedy on September 11th, or those that have fallen in the years since. Fly your flag for them and fly it proudly, they haven’t forgotten it and neither should you.

US Flag

We will never forget…


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JD86
JD86

Bryan,

Wish I had seen this article earlier today, unfortunately I have been out in the field all day training the next group of Sailors to take my role in the fleet. I used to think I was crazy for critiquing people on their use of the American flag, i.e. flying it at night without a light or displaying it wrong in a window. I now look at it and say, "at least they are displaying the flag." 

I paused to speak to my division officer yesterday about September 11th and where we were. He went on to tell me how he remembers where he was when the space shuttle challenger exploded and even the Oklahoma city bombing. It is interesting that each of us holds a value for different events like these and it's the one thing that everyone old enough to remember can relate to, yet there are those of us that choose to forget. I recently read an article on SOFREP.com and the author Eric Davis said it best. There are unsung heroes that fight for peoples freedom back home so they can CHOOSE to forget these periods of darkness like September 11th.

With Respect,

Justin D.

Plankowner/Lifemember ITS Tactical

bryanpblack
bryanpblack moderator

@JD86 Thanks brother, glad you're out there training tomorrow's Sailors! Reflection is important, as is everyone being free to do so in their own way. It's certainly what our unsung heroes have fought for and continue to each and every day.

While more cliché, I've always liked the "if you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in english, thank a soldier." 

I appreciate your continued support and thanks for being with us from the beginning.

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An Australian Special Forces Task Group patrol vehicle crossing a small creek line during a reconnaissance patrol in Afghanistan. Aug 3, 2002. via militaryarmament

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