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

By Bryan Black

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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