The America I Remember

The time has passed so quickly.

As I reflect on twenty-two years ago, September 11, 2001, vivid memories of the day flashback into my mind.

The visual images of each of the attacks shown in the media, the horror, the pain of the loss of so many lives, the grief- all seem like yesterday.

Yet from the smoldering ashes came the strength, resilience, and courage of so many.

The incredible sense of Unity throughout the country was experienced by those living at the time.

America became one people, one family, one in harmony to offer help, support, and even time just to be together.

For those of us who lived through that sad time, we have touching memories of towns coming together for candlelight ceremonies and vigils, American flags flying, collections of assorted items, and money to help all those families in need

American patriotism and pride for the nation were everywhere.

We watched as locations requested a piece of the WTC rubble to be displayed in so many towns as a sign of remembrance or to be included in memorials built worldwide.

That incredible sense of Unity and camaraderie has remained in so many of our minds till today.

So what happened?

Where did it all go? The division and disunity that prevails today brings us further away from the America I remember on September 12, 2001. Why?

What changed? Have we forgotten that we live in the greatest country in the world?

If one puts their mind to work and pursue their dreams, there is nothing anyone cannot achieve here.

Are the memories of those who lost their lives that day and all those since due to illnesses from working in those areas forgotten? A faded memory? Why?

That is not the America I remember.

Make this year different. Let's pledge that come tomorrow, we will dedicate ourselves to bringing Unity back into our nation. It must begin with each one of us.

It requires us to focus on the greater good for all, not just ourselves.

To be proud of our nation and demonstrate a love of our country.

To be committed to unifying America by remembering all those lives lost on September 11 and throughout our history.

May the memories of their lives live on through us.

By doing so, we will grow closer to the America I remember!


By Cathy Pagano

2023 TEACH Award Recipient