Twenty-seven days ago, I helped my husband put up six American flags at his office. Likewise, I bought a new flag for our flagpole at home. It was the eve of 9/11 and I wanted to see those flags flying in bright new colors on Patriot Day in remembrance of the terrible events that change “our” America.
I knew when I left my home in Clyo that I would go the long way to work so I could proudly see all the flags out in Springfield. Driving by, my heart would beat faster as I saw Old Glory and remembered that, “the flag stands for all that we hold dear — freedom, democracy, government of the people, by the people, and for the people.” We would remember what happened to us six years ago and why this new day called Patriot Day was started on Sept. 11, 2002, by President George W. Bush.
As I came around past the new courthouse, I was shocked and appalled at what I saw — absolutely no flags. As I came through the heart of Springfield — no flags. I thought to myself, “Springfield must be putting them up this morning.”
I continued on to Rincon. I knew when I got to the over pass that those flags would be flying on that windy morning. Imagine my disappointment when I arrived at the over pass – still no flags.
My heart sank as I drove into Rincon and not one of the city flags was flying. What in the world is going on?
I made several phone calls and heard from an equally distressed citizen that a spokesperson for Rincon stated they simply, “forgot.” Forgot? How do you forget that 2,750 people were killed in New York City at the Twin Towers, 184 people killed at the Pentagon and 40 people in the skies over Shanksville, Penn.?
Is it that we live so far from those places and these people? Are we disconnected? Do we just not care? Have we really just forgotten? It doesn’t really affect us? Maybe we are just too busy.
What about our military people in overseas countries fighting for us today? Have we forgotten them? Out of sight …out of mind? I truly hope not.
In the words of our President:
I also call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day. Further, I encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. Eastern Daylight time, or another appropriate commemorative time, to honor the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
I hope that we do better next year. President Ronald Reagan once said, “If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”