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Today marks the 13th anniversary of that day. The day that changed the way we as Americans would view our world. I had hoped the cataclysmic events in my life where I remembered exactly what I was doing at that moment would only include the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion and John Lennon being shot on a New York City sidewalk. Sadly, that wasn’t to be the case.

That day, that DAY. I wasn’t in New York or Pennsylvania or Washington DC. Didn’t matter because in a matter of seconds we ALL transported there. The tears, fear and anger that engulfed me that day revisit me every year on this, that day. Terrorists had made it to our soil. They meant to do us harm, and they did. They meant to make us fear and fall. We did, but…

Those terrorists didn’t keep us in fear. We got up from where we had fallen in such great shock and overwhelming pain. We got up as a country and united that day. We helped each other grieve and rebuild. Not only buildings got rebuilt after that day. We shored up our strength and yes fought back. Sadly, we’re still fighting back. But we we rebuilt something that those cowards thought they would also kill in us, our Spirit. Oh you were so wrong.

Everyday that we as a country have gotten up after that day and participated in what the United States of America stands for defeats them. We are free. We are free to go to school, get educations, have our own thoughts and opinions and to speak and write about them when we desire. As a woman, I can go to school, drive a car, own property and gasp, vote! I am a free human being. Granted we are a flawed country but we know this and we have the freedom to improve ourselves. As a country we are also capable of great kindness and compassion towards others (regardless of whether it’s an election year). We have a great capability to rally support for each other in moments of great need or disaster. But we are so capable of showing kindness and compassion in simple small ways when no one is watching, like holding a door for an older adult or paying it forward somehow. It hasn’t been ripped out of our fiber or humanity.

I’ll close with some lyrics from an old Gospel song that have been going through my mind as I write this:
” I sing…because I’m happy.”
“I sing…because I’m free.”

Today, this day, go show kindness and compassion to another human being then continue to do so everyday. Peace be with you.