Hold Us Together

I love this country. Sometimes I feel frustrated and upset at things I see on the news. Sometimes I feel happy and proud. It’s like any family.  We are all different, but yet we stick together. At least we used to…

I was in 5th grade when we were attacked on Sept. 11th. I remember being scared, even though I was in Redmond, WA… a safe 3,000 miles away. I remember feeling numb as I walked down the hallway, to the sounds of the news reporting the attack. I remember feeling sad, and though I didn’t know anyone who died, it felt like I was personally affected. When I walked to school, I held my best friend’s hand like my life depended on it. The whole day at school, my teacher kept the news on, and I remember thinking, “What a horrible accident.”… In my 11 year old mind, it did not occur to me that someone would intentionally hurt not just one person, but thousands of people they didn’t even know. I didn’t know what terrorism was…

For the past 12 years, I have not been able to see an airplane in the sky without thinking, “that plane is flying too low.” It’s a knee-jerk reaction, and rationally, I know that the likelihood of an attack via airplane is slim to none… I am very vocal about the ridiculousness of giving up the ability to bring mouthwash in my carry-on without buying a special container. But through the years, I have never forgotten what terrorism is…

But something has changed.

In 2001, I do not remember Americans turning on each other. We didn’t say, “Oh, I bet it’s a right-winger” or “Some left-wing lunatic at it again.”… We didn’t place blame, or I should say the majority of us didn’t place blame on one another. But now, after the bombing in Boston, we are not coming together. Somehow, we have decided that the label Democrat or Republican trumps that of the uniting American label, and the chance to jab one another on policy issues is just too tempting to let pass.

In 2001, we held hands with strangers. We stood in line for hours to give blood. We went back to church…

This whole week has felt like wave after wave of tragedy. It’s heartbreaking, but you know, healing comes after a break. I don’t know why this has happened, but I pray that something good comes from it. I hope that we can come together and love another. I pray that we can turn to God and love His Word. 

“It was good for me to be afflicted    

so that I might learn your decrees.”          

                            —Psalm 119:71


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