Did we forget? I sit and recall that Tuesday morning in 2001. I was preparing for work and stopped frozen as I viewed the news on my television. We all had a visceral response to the events as they unfolded. I recall the panic and horror that people experienced that day. Our nation was under attack.
People lost their lives and families were forever changed on that day. Do you remember?
As the days transitioned to weeks our Nation and our people rose. Leaders lead, heroes sacrificed, and our nation prevailed. Our greatest strength is that in times of crisis we are all Americans, and we come together united. Do you remember?
It is disappointing that it takes tragedy for us to unite. Why do we forget we are all Americans?
I saw heroes that day. We often use the term loosely and even apply it to those not deserving. You do not find heroes at a sporting event or on a movie screen. You can however find heroes every day in your communities. On 9/11 they were the police, firefighters, EMS, and regular citizens who acted in the face of danger. They responded, they went into harms way and many were lost. First Responders paid the ultimate price to help others. Do you remember?
Heroes do not ask for the title, it is earned. What greater love for mankind than to risk your life to help your fellow man. First Responders do this daily. They are glad to be of service. They hope to leave the community better than they found it. They hope to return home to family at the end of their day, but they know the reality is that one day they may be called to sacrifice, and they respond.
On 9/11 there were no colors, no separate groups, no hidden agendas. There were just Americans united that day. We said we would never forget. Do you remember?
I ask you to look back and remember. History should be studied so we learn how to be better by observing our past success and failures.
Our nation finds itself in crisis once again. We must unite as Americans. We must have dialog and conversation. We do not need violence or property damage. We can improve, we must do better. We have come together before to overcome problems and we must do so again. Our differences and individuality are assets when we are united together as Americans.
Today let us remember and honor our fallen heroes from that day in 2001. Honor all our lost heroes who have sacrificed for this great nation. We must keep our promise to never forget.
Tomorrow we must end the division in this nation. We must become Americans together and united. We can solve our problems; we live in the greatest nation if we only remember.
We must never forget, and we must come together as one nation. Each one of us can be the change we want to see in our world, but we must be together as Americans to accomplish it.
As always BE SAFE, Never Forget.
Chief Wayne A. Smith is currently employed by the City of Lodi Wi. Smith is a charter member (1996) of The Wisconsin Association of Homicide Investigators (WAHI) and held the office of President (2012-2013), and in 2011 was named Death Investigator of the Year by WAHI.