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Dates never forgotten…

September 11, 2001 – we still remember.  What other dates are never forgotten for you?

In the novel, A Tale of Two Cities © is the contrast, “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” both occurring at the same time.  For Americans, 9/11 2001 seems like a demarcation point between the best of times before that morning and the worst of times after.  That’s when terrorism literally collided into freedom.

Do you remember where you were when news of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers in New York was broadcast?  I always will.  In a flash our generation was tested on what we can endure during the worst of times.  December 7, 1945 tested my parent’s generation; October 24-29, 1929 tested my grandparents’.  On a more personal level April 20, 1999 was the worst of times for my home town.

It’s amazing what we can accomplish during the best of times; and what we can endure during the worst of times.  The bad times help us appreciate and enjoy the good times even more.

Our ability to gain strength from adversity should come as no surprise, though.  Our ancestry is made of up generations who endured and then grew stronger.  Much of today’s adversity pales in comparison to theirs.  Here’s what Ernest Hemingway said:

Life breaks us.  And when we heal, we’re stronger on the broken parts.

For many of us who did not suffer a direct loss of loved ones from these tragic events, our hardships now come in the form of inconvenience and economics.  We work harder today to keep up than we did before; travel has become more difficult; guns are all too prevalent in our society; in our schools; at our churches, malls, and theaters!

Things we once dreamed of seem further from our reach.  We have extended our resources close to the breaking point in defense of our country and our way of life.   But for America, that’s nothing new.  Our country has been on the brink; had parts broken; and healed back stronger for as long as we have been a country.  Were the hardships of the Revolution, the Civil War, the Viet Nam War, the Civil Rights Movement, or any other national, local, personal, or family crisis less hard?

We are up to facing today’s challenges.  We are strong because we come from generations of strength – families who struggled to make for this country, for their families, and for themselves the best of times.  Like past generations, Americans today have the opportunity to earn and enjoy the better things in life.  And we know why they are the better things:

To really enjoy the better things in life, one must first have experienced the things they are better than. 

Oscar Holmolka

So today we reflect on that never forgotten, life-changing event now known as 9/11.  Like the day an American walked on the moon, or the night the USA Olympic hockey team won the gold medal to Al Michaels’ famous words broadcast around the world, “Do you believe in miracles?”,  let’s turn to our favorite, Unknown Sage once again for this reminder:

The First Rule of Life:

The best things in life aren’t things.

Our country endured October 24, 1929 and the Great Depression; grew stronger after the December 7th, 1941 Pearl Harbor attack; my home town stands firm following the 4/20/1999 Columbine shooting; and I believe Americans remain united following the 9/11/2001 attacks.

Dates never forgotten.

GAP

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