Whatever happened to the post-9/11 unity?

Posted 9/10/19

Remember where and when? I am sure that a few of our citizens can remember the exact place and location when they were informed of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. A few more may remember …

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Whatever happened to the post-9/11 unity?


Remember where and when?

I am sure that a few of our citizens can remember the exact place and location when they were informed of Japan’s surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.

A few more may remember their exact place and location when they heard of the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy, Rev. Martin Luther King, and also Bobby Kennedy.

A few more may remember when John Lennon was killed, Elvis died, and the attempted assassination of President Ronald Reagan.

It is a fact of life that with each new day and the multitude of experiences that come along with each day, the aspects of most memories fade with time and the passage of generations along with each day.

Tomorrow marks the 18th year since our world changed. During the Sept. 11 attacks of 2001, 2,977 people were killed (excluding the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured.

The immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.

Billions of dollars and the blood of American soldiers have been deposited on foreign soil in a continued effort to keep us all safe. In a quote that is often attributed to George Orwell, “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men (and women) stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

I think that our United States military does an outstanding job in keeping the peace and allowing us to continue to have a relatively peaceful existence within the United States of America.

Gone are the days immediately after the attacks where we were blessed with the visual imagery of United States representatives and United States senators locking hands and after a moment of silence they — Democrats and Republicans — began singing “God Bless America.”

This message of unity after such a despicable attack was a moment in time where we all stood together and said we will not be divided, we will not be discouraged and we will not be defeated!

It seems that just 18 years later you cannot see any member of Congress or the Senate from either party being unified by anything other than hatred of the “other side,", and it somehow seems that none can hardly ever even mention “God," “Bless” or “America, much less mentioning them all together.”

It has been said by some “that we get the elected representatives that we deserve.” This can be argued, but it also seems that we are about as divided as those who serve in our nation’s capital.

With that as a reference point may we all take the time to sit down with family and friends and look at candidates' records, their past accomplishments and their ability to deliver on each of their campaign promises in addition to looking at the political party that they express a desire to belong to in order to get your vote. In doing so, we can hope that “the pendulum” may swing back in the direction of providing and protecting freedom and responsibility, instead of promoting free items and recreational pharmaceuticals for all.

Bradley County is growing. On the first day of April next year, the U.S. Census count will be initiated as it has been done every 10 years since our nation’s founding. This effort of determining a correct count will be used to determine an updated map for local, state and also national elected representation, and funding of hundreds of millions of dollars that are available each and every year.

It is important to be counted then, and to also be counted on each and every day as a responsible community-minded citizen. We have been blessed since 1836 with a majority of individuals and families who take care of their own, and out of their abundance, they also help to take care of many others who may find themselves in need.

This volunteer spirit is alive and well in Southeast Tennessee now just as it was back in 1836, in 2001 and today.

It is yet another reason that Bradley County remains Tennessee at its best! 


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