With the passing of the sixth anniversary of Sept. 11th I would like to ask America, Where were you on 9/12? To me, those days following 9/11 were this country's, and dare I say the world's, finest.
I remember a truly unified country. There were no Republicans, Democrats, or Independents. There were no blacks, whites, Hispanics, Asians, or any other ethnicities. There were no gays, straights, bi's, or trans anything. There was no upper, lower, or middle class. There were no Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Jews, Atheists, or God fearing or no fearing. Nobody was disabled or able bodied.
There were Americans and there were people who felt our collective pain and wanted to help.
I remember hearing story after story of strangers helping strangers during one of the world's worst days. I remember feeling proud to be alive seeing humans acting like humans. I cried seeing the death and destruction, but I cried even harder for those doing the helping and the caring. I remember wanting to say Thank You to all of them.
I also remember the quiet. Being outside and hearing no airplanes or jets flying overhead. I remember imagining back to simpler days when the skies belonged only to the birds. I remember thinking that only a small percentage of our population could remember such quiet skies.
I was also sad because I knew those days would not last forever. Fingers would start pointing and blame being assessed. To soon those days came and have yet to go away. Since 9/11 there have been some very ugly days by all involved.
Since 9/11 I have seen many signs, posters, bumper stickers, car magnets and TV ads telling America not to forget 9/11. I think it would be impossible to forget 9/11, I know I never will. To me the real tragedy of 9/11 is that we have forgotten 9/12.
The following is a poem I wrote in the days following 9/11.
The darkest day of September
By Mark Plocharczyk
Red is for the blood of the injured and the dead.
White is for the fright of those who watched high above their heads.
Blue is for how all the world feels.
Together, these colors symbolize freedom, strength and unity,
Of people near and far, forming a new community.
Strangers once before, but never never again.
Searching praying hoping.
Crying trying coping.
Seeking someone, to them, unknown.
Some will have lived and some will have died.
Knowing each and everyone had fearlessly tried,
To turn a nightmare into a bad dream.
The darkest day of September,
One we’ll all remember.
In our hearts, in our prayers, and in our tears.
Learn from this moment.
Later may not come.
Now is the time to love.