Most of us remember where we were that day. I was sleeping. I’d had a long night patrolling the streets of Kansas City. After dropping my son off at school, I’d gone to bed, only to be woken up by the phone ringing. I was irritated when my husband’s voice was on the other end, he knew better than to wake me up. But he quickly convinced me to turn on the TV. That was about two minutes before United Airlines flight 175 crashed into the South Tower. I never went back to bed.
Eleven years later and our lives are drastically changed. We feel the effects of those terrorist acts every day. Stories of tragedy and bravery continue to reach us on a daily basis–yet they all stem back to one plot to bring down our nation. After the attack we stood together–united and strong. But with each passing year and each loss we suffer, are we as strong as we were on 9/12/01? Or are politics, the economy, and our own biases blossoming out of control with social media actually breaking down our very foundation of society?
With this anniversary, I encourage you to forget politics and read one of the many tributes to the victims and heroes of 9/11. Recognize the changes in our society, the good and the bad, and remember who we are as a nation–from true accounts of heroism on that day and the days immediately following, to all of the acts of heroism that have followed by our military and the sacrifices that have been made to allow us the freedoms we have today.
Two of my favorite books have been Lone Survivor by Navy Seal Marcus Luttrell and Because They Hate by Brigitte Gabriel. Both books address cultures and differences that create mistrust, animosity and hatred. I plan on reading Mark Owen’s No Easy Day, not because I condone his decision to release the book before receiving approval from the Pentagon, because I don’t, but because there was a team that put everything on the line to bring down the man responsible for changing our world. I want to read that account, and understand the dedication and bravery of that team.
What heroes stand out to you in the wake of 9/11? How did their story change you? I’d love to hear your recommendations of books that moved you beyond what you thought possible.