Twelve years ago I remember waking up in my dorm room. I remember being groggy and not really know what was going on but knew from my roommate’s tone of voice something big was happening. Within seconds we had the tv on top of our mini-fridge turned on and horrible images were streaming into our dorm room. As TVs weren’t the norm at our school, we opened our door for others to watch. People were crowding around any tv they could find and silently watching as things went from bad to worse. The campus was silent.
Then airplanes started filling the sky. The local air force base had been put on high alert. What was a tense situation went through the roof as people didn’t know if there were more targets, if we were in danger, if the worst was yet to come.
Yet through all those horrible moments, the strength and goodness of humanity shown through. Through the darkness, the light of the human spirit could not be extinguished. On the East coast, every day people showed themselves to be heroes. Across the rest of the country, initial fear turned into resolve and compassion. On that dark day, everyone was a family member. Everyone supported each other. At one of the worst moments of history in my lifetime, the best of humankind shone through.
Twelve years later, I sit here in Starbucks remembering what it was like on that fall morning. It was one of those days you’ll just never forget. A memorial service was quickly put together in the coming days. As school was still just getting started and most of the musical ensembles barely had any music, I remember our barbershop quartet was tasked with singing God Bless America at the memorial service. Every time I hear that song, I flash back to that crisp morning as we sang it near the campus flagpole.
Jumping forward to today, I frequently watch the Flag Retreat at Disneyland and God Bless America is regularly sung by another barbershop quartet. It’s a different rendition of it but the poignance remains for me. September 11 was a horrible day I won’t forget. I won’t forget the looks on people’s faces. I won’t forget how we came together. And I won’t forget that good triumphed over evil.
What do you remember?
Make it a GREAT day!
- Mr. DAPs