My experience was not so different than yours, I would guess. I can remember my father calling from work, asking if we had turned on the TV today. His voice was steady, but worried. Very worried.
I can remember the words slipping across the bottom of the TV as news anchors talked rapidly. ‘US Under Attack’, it read. Is this for real? Could we actually be under attack? The thought of enemies coming here, onto our land, to kill us was strange and hard for me to wrap my thoughts around.
My father came home from work early that day. When the news reporters started filming people jumping out of the towers to avoid burning to death, my parents turned the TV off. It has too hard to watch, too sad.
Then came the flags. Up and down the streets they stood. Tall, brave and strong. We are America, they said to me, We have been through much, but we are still the United States.
I was sad again when they took the flags down, and I think back to those days often. I think back to fields and front yards burning a brilliant red, white, and blue. We are unique individuals, all of us, and as different as the colors red, white, and blue are themselves. But the beauty is that through our uniqueness we build each other up. We continued the legacy of our flag. We are different, but sewn together in an inspiring display of courage and strength. It is how we remain the United States. After all, the old adage still remains true.
United we Stand.