Dustin W. Hodges//Contributing Writer
Every generation has their special date in American history that will, to quote FDR, “live in infamy.” For my grandparents generation this was the 7th of December in 1941, For my parents it was the 22nd of November in 1963. For me it was the 11th of September in 2001. My grandparents and parents always said they would never forget where they were when their big event happened, and this generation should be no different.
At precisely 8:46 AM on September 11, 2001 America’s destiny and that of its citizens changed forever. This tragic event brought America together in a way not seen in sixty years. For a brief time there was no black or white, no Christian or Jew, no rich or poor, no Republican or Democrat. On that horrible day, and for years to come, we were all simply American. Just as after Pearl Harbor, Americans bonded together, donated, volunteered, and enlisted in record numbers to fight evil and bring freedom to the world.
With all the controversy and violence in 2014/2015, people attacking cops, burning down neighborhoods, even shooting at firefighters, America needs to remember the ideology that attacked us 14 years ago has not been eradicated. All this infighting is just what they want, to destabilize and destroy this great nation. Each time our country is attacked, America has come together as one. It is a shame it takes such a tragedy to make us see that our minor differences really do not matter. If we can remember what brought us to stand together, nothing can tear us apart.
Thousands have died fighting terrorism since September 11, 2001. Many people know someone close to them who has given the ultimate sacrifice to defend your freedom. Many of those who do return become first responders. Let us not forget the hundreds of officers, and firefighters who lost their lives on 9/11. So the next time you see a police officer, or firefighter, know that one way or another they have risked their lives to keep you free, say thank you. Next time you see a military veteran, buy that person dinner, she or he risked their life in defense of your freedom. If by chance you are lucky enough to meet George W. Bush, shake his hand and say thank you, his decision to fight terrorism head on is the reason an attack like September 11 has not happened since.