Traveling has been a massive education for Nicole and I. We have learned much about the places we visit, but more about the people who live there. Coming from the United States we are constantly reminded by new friends we meet of what amazing circumstances we were born into. Yet, the pride our foreign friends have for their countries trumps much of anything I’ve seen at home. It’s certainly not unanimous, but many across the Southeast Asian countries see the United States as the benchmark, the standard, the goal to which one day they may come to reach. However, they maintain a sense of national pride in their country that its absolutely powerful.
People all over the world know our president and know that he is as influential and center stage as any one person on the planet. Yet, I can’t shake the idea that we’ve lost sight of what this is telling us. Every time I take out my passport and see the cover I feel that certain sense I know I forget about far too often, a sense of true pride for my country. And so now I take that passport out as often as I can to remind me.
The anniversary of 9/11 every year is a reminder to me of not just the tragedy and emotions of the day, but the days, weeks and months thereafter. In our darkest hours, our countries heartbeat, its people, were at their finest, their strongest, and I like to think, their truest. The spirit and resolve shown in our towns and cities all over the country was like nothing I’d ever seen at home before and unfortunately, only after a short time, have not seen again. We banded with the world as brothers to show that our greatest strength was in one another. Only on the memorial of 9/11 does that strength come into focus as a reminder of who we are and what we stand for.
I’m not a super history buff, but I know our country was built upon the belief that the people were its greatest treasure and only through their unity and vision could a nation prosper and become a land where the stuff of dreams could manifest into reality. We are that place, people say it to me that way all the time out here, and with conviction.
I am afraid that we easily forget. We lose ourselves, in ourselves. We lose sight of all we have when so many others have not. The anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11th should always be a reminder of those who lost their lives, but not because of the efforts of a selfish group of cowards, but in a heroic sense to show us what we are at our core. We are a proud people who live in a blessed nation of opportunity and possibility. The world looks to us for support because we are strong. But a country is only as strong as the people who believe in it. I am so proud of what we are and what the world thinks of my country. When I hear, “where you from?”, I feel proud to announce my nationality to a local in a coffee shop, on a bus or in the market every day. I hope that on this anniversary we can find a way to again, make peace at home in our cities, towns, schools, workplaces and any place we find each other to bring us closer together as proud Americans. Be proud, share it, enjoy it, and make it part of your remembrances on 9/11 and everyday after.
Thanks for readin,