Where were you on September 11, 2001? No matter your location, when the Twin Towers went up in flames in a terrorist attack on our own soil, Americans – and the world – watched in abject horror and shock. Nearly 3,000 people died that day and America as we knew it had changed forever. It has been almost 20 years since that fateful day. How have we, as a nation, changed since then?
If there is anything positive that could come from the 9/11 attack, it would have to be the way Americans came together to help each other. We cannot forget the heroic efforts of the passengers of Flight 93 who gave up their lives to prevent the terrorists from achieving their goal of more death and destruction. We must also never forget the fire and police personnel who risked – and sacrificed – their lives to save the victims trapped inside the burning and collapsing buildings.
People came together to offer help in any way they could, whether it was donating food, clothes, and blankets, offering shelter, wrapping a neighbor in comforting arms, or just holding the hand of a stranger devastated by the tragedy. Patriotism rose to an epic proportion and the United States flag could be seen waving boldly from nearly every home, building, and park. The American people showed just how strong and united they could become when faced with such a dangerous foe.
Now, nearly two decades later, as cities are taken over and the nation’s flag is burned, we have gone from being patriots to violent protesters; the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001 are all but forgotten.
Project Protest and Destroy
Protesting has always been a part of our nation; it is our constitutional right to peacefully rally against injustice and ideals with which we disagree. However, the year 2020 has been fraught with one calamity after another, from the Coronavirus pandemic that put the world on lockdown to the vast hordes of rioters laying siege to our cities. The May death of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, by white police officers sparked protests and rioting the likes of which have not been witnessed for decades, if ever.
The Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) in Seattle, WA and the Portland, OR riots are two horrific examples of how far this nation’s people have lost their way – and their patriotism. We’ve gone from seeing police officers as heroes to denouncing them all as villains, an evil plague that needs to be eradicated. It is difficult to imagine that yesterday’s protectors are today’s victims as unruly and violent mobs lock them in their own precincts and try to burn them alive. All the while, Democratic lawmakers look the other way, defunding and dismantling law enforcement while forbidding officers the use of “weapons” to defend themselves and the civilian charges they are putting their lives on the line to protect.
The allegations of “racial inequality,” “police brutality,” and “white privilege” have ignited civil unrest across the nation, causing even more racial division among the citizens. The CHOP Zone, for example, seized several blocks in the Emerald City and demanded segregation. White people are apologizing for being born with a certain skin tone while fanatics of all colors are going to neighborhoods and demanding white people give up their homes to a black person. Militias have taken to the streets to try and protect residents and businesses from the riots and looting.
To support the president of the United States is now seen as racist and Trump supporters oftentimes face harassment and even violence. Officials, voted into office, have told citizens to harass Trump supporters in restaurants and anywhere else they are found. Our country’s commander in chief faces multiple attacks from the left, and every effort he attempts to Make America Great Again is challenged and maligned.
Instead of pulling together during a crisis and helping our fellow Americans through such difficult times, as we did in 2001, civil unrest has divided and weakened us. Americans attacking Americans – domestic terrorism instead of banding together. On this day of remembrance, as we honor the fallen heroes and victims of 9/11, we should also look back to who we were as a nation, and hopefully find our way back to respecting God, country, and mankind.
Read more from Kelli Ballard.