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We Are One

Eleven years ago today, while writing my column for this newsletter, the unthinkable happened. The date was September 11, 2001 and I was in the middle of a paragraph recounting the terrific time I had while giving a talk in Sioux City, Iowa, when the scenes that transfixed the world began to unfold across my television set. The juxtaposition between the terrorists who unleashed such horror and the caregivers I met in Iowa was striking and I commented that no such acts would tear this country apart, rather...

“No matter what ends they hope to accomplish, I guarantee you that with the community, love and support that I have seen across this country in cities large and small, these cowards will never win...”

Eleven years forward and much of what was to be expected has happened as has much that we could not have anticipated. One positive thing which occurred in the days immediately after the attack was the sense of unity we felt as a nation, not to mention the support and well-wishes of much of the world. Unfortunately, it did not take long for a dizzyingly fast series of events to unravel those feeling.

Now, so many deaths later, and with the events of that horrific day and those that followed having been repeatedly turned into a political football, this is a perfect moment for silent reflection— to stop and think. Think of those we lost and their loved ones, as well as those brave First Responders who have passed from the effects of, or are still dealing with, unforeseen respiratory illnesses. Think of our heroes returning from the war with injuries, seen and unseen, that they will be dealing with for years to come. And think of their families that stand by their side as they work hard to recover. The Veterans Administration has a great new program dedicated to supporting them in their recovery.

Especially in the midst of the partisan battles of yet another election year, we need to find a way back to the solidarity and sense of community we felt those long days and nights ago. That is truly the only way to guarantee that the bad guys never win.

The 9/11/2001 column
Of Love, Community and Cowards

Gary Barg

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