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My Lines: The Mourning After

My Lines: The Mourning After

A month ago, the 18th anniversary of 9/11 came and went, and like most old enough to remember, I remembered exactly where I was when a report of the first plane hitting a tower came. And, the second. And then the third (Pentagon). And the collapses of the towers. They are moments seared in my mind, brought alive once again by televised remembrances, documentaries and conversations in the days before and after the anniversary.

And as vivid as those memories were, I found myself in the days and weeks following the anniversary focusing on the next day – September 12th – and mourning the loss of what that day ushered in. I wished it had lasted. 

You see, the morning after, I felt like hundreds of millions of us, sorrowful, confused, yet inspired at the same time. And united. Sorrowful for the loss of life and way of life. Confused over what actually had happened and what we were to do about it. And inspired by the countless acts of bravery and courage – first responders racing toward the towers and fires and Pentagon crash. Not away.

And, most importantly, united. We embraced our common humanity and citizenship. ‘We’ felt attacked. ‘We’ felt resolve toward rebuilding and finding those responsible and holding ‘them’ accountable. In those days, they were the only ‘they’ we talked about. ‘We’ felt like one. 

All couple of hundred million of us were huddled up shoulder to shoulder in the ‘we’ space. We were together. Ready for whatever was to come and however we were to be called by our leaders. There was no ‘me’ or ‘I’ or ‘you.’ Only ‘we.’ In our business we call this ‘resonant’ space where division does not and cannot exist, and there is great power.

One nation. Indivisible.

Congress – yes Congress – even got in the act as over 200 of them stood outside the Capital building on that day and sang God Bless America. I still have chills when I think of that moment.

One nation. Indivisible. 

We were together. We cheered policemen and firemen. Flags appeared everywhere almost overnight. Freedom bells rang. Young men and women signed up for military service. We were not Red or Blue. We were Red, White AND blue.

So as I reflected on those days, I began to think about the awesome and inspiring power of unity, and the debilitating and destructive power of division. There was nothing – absolutely nothing – in those days that could or would stand in the way of a united America and what it would do next. And then I thought about what happened to that America?

Eighteen years later, we’re at odds with each other; we are Red OR Blue; we are not shoulder to shoulder and instead are face to face, shouting at each other. We see differences and not commonality. We are divided – very divided – and not one nation, but two. Or more. Division has crept in, and like a thief in the night, stolen our ‘one’ and ‘indivisible.’ It’s like our ‘unity’ is bound and gagged, enabling division to do it’s terribly destructive work.

So here we are. Not the United States of America, but the divided States of America.

So on every 9/11 since the first, we remember. We mourn. We recall where we were. And we pledge to ‘Never Forget’ to signal our solidarity with not letting such a horrific attack to repeat itself. And well we should. 

But we need to do more than remember. We need to find our fight to return to who we were on 9/12 and the days that followed.

Free of binds and gags. Defeating division by rediscovering the incredible and awesome power of unity.

One nation. Indivisible.


This month’s My Lines was authored by Jim O'Donnell, our President, and is a reprint of one of his Morning Jim blogs which he shares with the company every Monday.  


By: Equity National Title   October 14, 2019     Uncategorized


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