September 11th, 2001, at 0842AM American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north face of the North Tower, World Trade Center 1. When the “Today Show” interrupted their newscast with the news and video, Rosie came outside to the garage where my brother Mark and I were working out. She told us a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center. We both walked inside with Rosie and watched in horror when United Airlines Flight 175 hit the South Tower, World Trade Center 2 at 0903AM. 34 minutes later American Airlines Flight 77 crashes into the west side of the Pentagon. We couldn’t believe what we were watching….the USA was under attack.
In the weeks and months to follow, after nearly 3000 people lost their lives, and an additional 6000 were injured, our United States Flag was flown and displayed everywhere – on our homes and vehicles, on shirts, on hats, everywhere you looked you saw the patriotism of American’s showing the world that we stood as one nation in support of our military and our first responders who serve to protect us, and showing that we stood strong as one nation against terrorism.
Fast forward 17 years later, while our American Flag has not changed, much of our country’s attitude about it certainly has. While I hope and pray we never see an attack like that again on American soil, I sure do miss the patriotism that followed. It didn’t matter what political party you supported, what nationality you represented, what your skin color was, your sexual preference or your gender - we all proudly flew the flag everywhere we could because we were proud to be Americans! It was our flag!
At the Dodge County Sheriff’s Office we proudly fly our flag outside our offices, and outside our homes. We proudly display it on our uniforms and on all of our marked squad cars. We salute to our flag when in uniform, we remove our hats and place our hands over our hearts when in civilian clothes, and we ALWAYS stand for our flag.
We will never forget all the rescuers who died in honor, every life lost, and every family that continues to live in grief. If we learn nothing else from this great tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.
God Bless our flag and God Bless the USA.