Advocate editorial board opinion: We can come together if we want to
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The Sept. 11, 2001, bombing of the World Trade Center resonates strongly today - 10 years after that horrific and unforgettable event in our U.S. history.
Many of us who were mesmerized by the TV images on that unholy morning can conjure them up in our minds, and we remember our feelings of being violated, anger and resolve. More of us, who were not born yet, now have viewed the film footage and can feel the echoes of hurt from that time. We came to realize and rejoice in the freedoms we Americans enjoy so much. America truly is the flame of freedom's light in this world.
Other unusual images and sounds back then brought tears to our eyes and lighted a fire of nationalism not felt in that intensity, probably, since World War II. We are referring to Democrats and Republicans hand-in-hand on the steps of the nation's Capitol singing "God Bless America."
We are referencing a time when everybody in this nation and many in the world unified in a war on terror.
In the words of President George W. Bush on Sept. 20, 2001, during a joint session of Congress:
"America will never forget the sounds of our national anthem playing at Buckingham Palace, on the streets of Paris and at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate. We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in Australia and Africa and Latin America."
Present at that speech before Congress was Great Britain's Prime Minister Tony Blair. He was there in full support of America - us. Also present was Lisa Beamer, the widow of Todd Beamer. Her husband was a passenger on United Airlines Flight 93, a flight that crashed in a Pennsylvania field after he and other passengers revolted against terrorists who had commandeered the flight.
Beamer's rallying call, "Let's roll," should never be forgotten because within that charge was the spirit of America. We have always come together when our very way of life is threatened.
We should say prayers and remember those who lost their lives in the planes, the towers and the heroic efforts during the aftermath. We should remember the selfless heroes who saved lives and worked hard to help. We should remember that we are Americans and that we can unify when we want to.
Those who came together provide a good lesson for us to remember, and if we can work together, we will emulate their actions and honor the fallen that day. If we may, we offer a reprise from Todd Beamer. "Let's roll."
This editorial reflects the views of the Victoria Advocate's editorial board.