Love America, Love Americans

Bob Bonnar

What is the lasting image of 9-11 for you?

Was it the Towers falling? Or the planes plowing into buildings? Or do you remember the anguish, terror and confusion - on your TV screen and also in your heart?

I can remember all of those things — vividly — but none of them dominates my memory of that day.

Instead, I remember sharing all of those experiences with you, with all Americans, and with all of America.

For a few glorious days, our nation responded to horror with honor.

We honored our lost.

We honored our neighbors.

We honored our nation.

We honored ourselves.

We did all of this by coming together as we never had in my lifetime — and never have since — and regardless of how you feel about this country or some of the people who share it with you, it is hard to imagine that many of us would hesitate for one second to regain the unity, compassion and love we felt for each other in that brief moment in our history.

I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder of my country than I was as I watched us pull together to support our President, our country, our military, our businesses, our families and really any American who needed help.


Unfortunately, that pride has been replaced by shame over the course of two decades as we forfeited the unity born of tragedy in 2001 for divisiveness born of politics in 2021. Regardless of your party or ideology, there’s a pretty good chance you’re ashamed of other Americans - if not ashamed of America — and that’s not okay.

I urgently pray that this week’s remembrance will serve as an awakening for us, a reminder of what made us great in our darkest hour - our love for America and our love for fellow Americans.

The News Letter Journal will honor the legacy of 9-11 this week by producing a special section designed to take us back to that day 20 years ago - not to revisit the horror of that fall morning, but to remind us how awesome it was to be Americans in the moments that followed. 

Honor that day in our nation’s history by allowing us to rekindle the American spirit that enveloped us all as the towers fell — for that spirit produced the hope and promise that overcame the fear and uncertainty brought on us by our enemies.

Honor those who gave their lives 20 years ago — from the innocent victims on airplanes and in the Twin Towers to the heroic first responders who ran into danger and never came back — by recalling the strength that our unity gave us on that day.

Honor Rylee McCollum, and honor Brian Bland and honor Ryan Zorn and all of the other brave servicemen and women who willingly sacrificed all for the past two decades to stand between us and our real enemies. Honor them by focusing on all the things we have in common — instead of the things that divide us.

Honor our nation by honoring each other.

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