I hadn’t planned on posting today, but something crossed my mind that I wanted to share.
Yesterday, I honored and prayed for the 9/11 victims and their families. I allowed myself to feel the emotions of loss, grief and dread, but only briefly.
I read other people’s notes and tributes on social media. They were all lovely, and they reminded me of something . . .
They reminded me of the immediate days following 9/11, which is why I decided to post this the day after.
On the tragic day of September 11, 2001, my husband and I had been visiting family in Illinois. We lived in Florida at the time. We had driven up there and our vacation was just about over. Our original plan was to leave the next day, September 12th, but flights had been grounded. People who were stranded in distant towns from home were renting cars and driving. We knew the roads were going to be crowded, so we extended our stay a few more days.
When we finally took off on Friday, September 14th, the roads were still more crowded than usual. But, there was something different about our driving experience back home. The vehicles around us were respectful. No one sped way above the speed limit. No one weaved in and out of traffic. People respectfully let others over in lanes. I even had people smile at me as we passed.
Then . . . the rest areas . . . I saw people stopping and talking to strangers, and to me, as if we weren’t strangers at all. I don’t recall anyone discussing our country’s recent tragedy. I just remember people talking, like friends, holding open doors for one another, offering someone else their place in line at the concession machines, asking, “how are you? How is your drive going?” and actually listening to the answer intently. We waved and smiled as we drove off, wishing each other a safe trip.
It didn’t matter race, color or creed. I don’t think anyone even noticed those things.
Those days after 9/11, were the best days to be an American. I’ll never forget that feeling. That was the TRUE American way. I miss it.
God Bless America.