As I sit and write this, it has been 19 years since I was going to work, listening to a Twin Cities rock station, when the morning guy offered a passing comment, something like, "oh, a plane just hit one of the World Trade Center towers," giving the impression that this was an errant Cessna.
By the time I pulled into my office, just 10 minutes later, we soon learned the harsh reality that this was no Cessna, and that it wasn't just one plane hitting one of the towers, but rather two jetliners hitting each of the towers.
Those two were followed by two other hijacked jets — one ending up in the Pentagon, the other in a Pennsylvania field.
Watching all of this unfold, I remember being overcome by a numbness, trying to comprehend what had just happened. Had this just happened in this great country of ours? Had we really just been attacked? On our own soil?
In the aftermath, once the numbness subsided, once we had a clearer idea of the enemies behind this attack, I remember how we truly became the United States of America. Divisions that existed disappeared as we were all for one, one for all in our opposition to this evil that existed.
Nineteen years bring a lot of change — good, bad and ugly — and it seems like our country is embroiled in too much ugly right now, and we have become the Divided States of America.
Not that I ever want another 9/11 to occur, but I long for that feeling that it was us, as in the U.S., against the rest of the world. Sure, we had and still have our international allies, but all our local neighbors, regardless of political party, race or religion, were united.
Some want us to erase our historical past, but I think that it is important to remember all of the events that have made our country what it is today. All of the events, again the good, the bad and even the ugly.
The events of Sept. 11, 2001 are painful still today. Let's not dwell on those, but also let us not forget what happened that day.
Let's remember what happened, and how it brought our country together. Let's work to make that happen again.