Click here to see the slideshow Tribute to Americans: A brief collection of pictures that represent some of what we have experienced after the tragedy of September 11, 2001- accompanied by the song "Proud to be an American" by Lee Greenwood.
is also a longer version- the pictures continue for a few minutes after
the song ends. Click Tribute
to Americans- long version.
This event has affected us greatly, and because of this, I share the following.
We will all remember where we were and what we were doing when we first heard of the vicious attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. By 9:30 I had heard rumors of the attack from some students, but was unaware of the level of atrocities because I was in a class that had started at 9:00 that morning.
At around 9:45 my wife called because our oldest son was experiencing a bit of a crisis, and he needed to talk to me. I asked my wife if she had seen any news, and she said she had not- she was getting the kids ready for the day. While I was conversing with my son, the principal came into the room and told me what had happened. When I resumed my discussion on the phone, I told my wife to make sure she saw the news. As soon as I could, I put on the radio in my classroom and we listened to the horrific news coming out of New York and Washington. I still had no idea how terrible an event this was, although it was obvious it was bad by the tone of the newscasters as well as the news they were delivering.
At lunchtime I was
able to see footage on CNN. I called my wife to see if she had seen
the events yet, and she had. That was when she told me that she knew
one of the people on one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade
Center. I had heard his name many, many times during conversations
about work- and I tell you now that all that was ever said about him was
positive. I never met him, but felt that I knew him. He helped
my wife develop herself in her career, and was a widely respected man.
He left behind a family and many loving friends. He is but one
During that first night I could not really sleep. I awoke regularly at very short intervals with visions of what must have been happening inside the planes. The next day brought little relief, as few people were found alive. However, news that the passengers on Flight 93 had overthrown the murderous hijackers provided some alleviation to the sadness. The visions of the planes began to share themselves with pictures of those victims in the buildings, the thousands who were grieving, the many who were hoping, and those who were rescuing. Eventually, as most of us felt, I became overwhelmed by mixed emotions- rage and despair.
I am not about to
get into a political discussion, but I am thankful to our leaders at this
time. Whereas we do not all agree on everything they always say and
do, I believe we have been blessed with strong leadership at this tragic
time. (Isn't it nice that we are given the freedom to disagree?)
America will rebuild.
I have often wondered what could have driven all those young men and women to go to war in 1941 and the subsequent years. I knew it had to be a great feeling of patriotism, but I could not understand that drive. I suppose it is like having children, or some such event. You can explain to people how you feel, but unless they have “been there too”, they really do not understand. Now I have been there. I have seen America attacked. I understand the patriotism.
Because of these emotions I have been experiencing, I had to do something. So I collected a large number of photographs from the past week. Most of these came from www.time.com, www.CNN.com , www.yahoo.news.com , and www.home.netscape.com . I felt like I had to do something that represents how this tragedy has affected me personally, for my own therapy, and so I created a slideshow of some of these pictures that I think represent what has happened. I invite you to go look at them. The song that accompanies it is one that we have heard many times over the past week- “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood. I hope we continue to hear it for a long time to come.
The pictures take us from the attack and the devastation, to the initial responses and the start of the rescues, and the despair that followed. It walks us through the next few days when America reacted with grief, shock, rage and compassion for their lost brothers and sisters. It then, at the end of the song, shows America starting the process of rebuilding. It shows how Americans reacted by joining together in a stand- One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice for All.
We must continue to build on this. I will help however I can, and I urge everyone to join together in this effort to rebuild. (Visit www.helping.org) We have started to pull together as a nation. The mood of patriotism is uplifting, and also healing. We have united. But we must be committed to maintaining this unity. We are all different, and this is our greatest strength and potentially our greatest weakness. If we stand together in spite of our differences, and recognize that it is because we are allowed the freedom to be different that we are so great, we will be stronger than anyone can imagine. If we do not, we may not survive as a nation.
God Bless the USA!
Click here to visit the slideshow, “A Tribute to Americans”
forgive me if I have broken any copyright laws- I take no credit for any
of the pictures or the music in the slideshow. It is just a Tribute