AwareNow: Issue 20: The Kind Edition

Page 102

“May my fellow American citizens and I rise to the challenge of rediscovering and strengthening the threads that bind this country together.”

Americans, young and old, should know that as awful as 9/11 was, it brought out the best in the American people. Patriotism, compassion, selflessness, etc., bloomed overnight in the hearts of an entire nation from the ashes of rubble at Ground Zero that our tears watered and made bear fruit.

"NEVER FORGET" isn't just a cute or catchy slogan to be bandied about on September 11th. It is a call to action for our country, never to forget its collective potential for love, growth, and sacrifice or the importance of kindness, humanity, and community. 9/11 proved once again that together we, as a unified country, can endure and survive horrific life events. However, the coordinated and unexpected terrorist attacks on 9/11 also proved that America was not, and is not, indestructible.

Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to protect America from enemies at home or abroad. However, one way to make the United States less vulnerable, in general, is to guard it against internal collapse, which is within our control, to an extent- Like by reflecting upon the lessons that September 11th taught America about ourselves on Patriot’s Day. We can use that knowledge to plant seeds of hope for a better tomorrow in the hearts and minds of future generations by sharing inspirational stories that promote positive change, solidarity, and healing. Healing a nation is no easy task, and it won't happen overnight. Likewise, it will be painful too, but it is worth the effort and possible to achieve if wanted. Otherwise, what's the alternative?

Abraham Lincoln once stated that "A house divided against itself cannot stand," and so far, history has yet to prove him wrong in that regard. Therefore, may my fellow American citizens and I rise to the challenge of rediscovering and strengthening the threads that bind this country together. May the memories of 9/11 be one of the many tools we use to motivate ourselves to continue working side by side towards improving our home, the only home we have, the United States of America. ∎


Author, Navy Veteran & Mother of 2 with Special Needs Lori Butierries is a full-time caregiver to two children with special needs, one child being terminally ill and physically disabled. Lori uses her life experiences and the medical knowledge she gained while serving as a Hospital Corpsman in the United States Navy to help others facing similar hardships. Lori focuses primarily on advocating for and educating others about the special needs, mental health, and veterans communities. Her long-term goal is to reduce the stigma associated with disability by talking about it with people of all ages, thus minimizing the fear and the mystery attributed to the unknown in this regard.