Friday, September 11, 2015


Fourteen years ago today, I was at work...not work as an air traffic controller, I was working on my day off at the magic shop in Silver Dollar City. I was not one of the unsung controllers that did the unthinkable that day as they guided 4000+ flights to land at unscheduled airports and cleared the busiest airspace in the world (without plans nor procedures) in less than two hours.

I was in a mini-time warp. To keep with the time period theme of Silver Dollar City, there are no radios anywhere in the park. They don't even allow employees to wear wrist watches as they weren't in existence at the time of the park's setting.

We had heard from our guests some of what was going on in the real world, but most of them were on vacation and hadn't really heard, either. By the time I got home that evening and found out what had taken place, the search and rescue efforts were underway and Americans from across the country were glued to their TVs. I found out that the kids had been watching much of the coverage throughout the day at school and so we made the decision to keep the TV set off for the rest of the night. At 12 and 9, we felt that they had seen enough for the day.

It wasn't until the following morning that I saw any of the video of what had taken place.

Looking back from today, the thing that I remember is that in an instant, we became the UNITED States of America!

On that day, there wasn't a white America nor a black America. There wasn't a Christian America and a non-Christian America. There wasn't even a rich America and a poor America.
There were Americans in need and there were Americans helping. There were allies from around the world sending aid.

WE had been attacked by terrorists.
WE were united in our resolve.
WE acted as one, The United States of America.

For many months after that day, there was a sense of patriotism that was for all of us. It wasn't conservative patriotism nor liberal patriotism. It was more than a love of our country; it was also a love of our fellow countrymen.

Many people turned to God -- seeking answers.
Many turned away from God -- asking "Why?"

I wonder...
Do we need a common enemy from outside of our country in order to stop fighting among ourselves?
Do we need chaos in our lives to bring about order in our government.
Do we need a responsibility so much greater than ourselves in order for our government representatives to quit acting like a bunch of fighting, irresponsible schoolyard bullies and actually do the jobs they've been sent to do?

I am distressed that we can call today Patriot Day and yet be a country that is so divided.
We are red states and blue states.
We are conservatives and liberals.
We are religious and non-religious.
We are rich and poor.
We are a nation that fights among ourselves.

How is that patriotic?

If you want to remember something about this day and this country, remember this:
We are the United States of America.
Millions of people in the world want to live here and have the blessed life that we have.
Anyone that wants to leave is free to leave...but few make that choice.
Some hate us because of our freedoms and they fear us.
They will choose to attack us again because our love of our freedom is something that they cannot understand nor tolerate.
We must prevail.
We are the United States of America.

John <><

1 comment:

eViL pOp TaRt said...

Excellent message for this dismal day, John Hill! We need to get re-united!