September 12: The Day After

This isn’t college-related. It’s not humorous. It’s not pockmarked with idiotic pictures. This is about September 12, the day after September 11.

September 12, 2011 is the tenth anniversary plus a day since the 9/11 attacks, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people and the shaking of a nation. It is likely that you watched the ceremony at Ground Zero. It is likely that you watched the President, former President, and their wives standing over the memorial. Perhaps you looked through the galleries of memorial photos, saw the faces of anguish and loss, felt the pangs of sympathy and disbelief. Perhaps you revisited the haunting images of smoke, fire and ash, recalling “where were you” when the event occurred. Do you still have the strings of Yo-Yo Ma’s rendition of “Sarabande” hovering between your ears? I do. In the United States, it was nearly impossible not to remember that singular date from ten years ago.

You may think this article is a day late. September 11 is already over. People have already paid their respects with flowers and prayers and moments of silence on the actual anniversary of the tragedy. I post this on September 12, the day after, not out of laziness, procrastination or forgetfulness. I post this on September 12, the day after, to say that life continues. Buildings, lives, and national security fell on September 11, 2001, but we are still here. As a nation, we have suffered acute emotional turmoil, but we are still here.

We have suffered, but here we stand. “E Pluribus Unum”: Out of many, one. 50 states and over 300,000,000 people strong – we are one nation, a column of strength, passion and resilience. We stand upright: bruised black and violet, sore in our joints, and callused over our palms. Our feet have carried us through Hell and back, yet they’re still aching for more. That is us as a nation – very flawed, but hopeful and perseverant. Although we have been hit hard, we are many and we are strong. Never forget. Never forget the past, but do not let it anchor you in agony and defeat.

Remember 9/11. Remember 9/12 and remember all the days after.