The country singer Alan Jackson encompasses, in my opinion, what many people might have felt and went through when 9/11 happened 18 years ago in his song, “Where were you when the world stopped turning?” Jackson asks in his song what people did that day when the twin towers fell:
“Did you weep for the children, who lost their dear loved ones? Pray for the ones who don’t know? Did you rejoice for the people who walked from the rubble? And sob for the ones left below? Did you burst out with pride for the red, white, and blue? And the heroes who died just doin’ what they do? Did you look up to heaven for some kind of answer And look at yourself and what really matters?”
Jackson sings throughout the song that what our world needs the most is faith, hope, and love.
I have know this song by heart ever since I was a little kid because it allows me to understand the fear people felt and the camaraderie that took place during that horrific time in our country’s history despite being too young to remember what happened that day. I do, however, know people my age and younger who do remember 9/11 and how their parents picked them up from school and how they sat in front of the TV praying nothing else would happen. But, people who are just four years younger than me and more don’t remember 9/11 or were born after it.
That being said, it is up to the older generations to ensure that our children learn what happened on September 11 2001 and how to live a life full of compassion for others who are different than themselves. Listening to Jackson’s song, reading people’s personal stories of being at ground zero, and visiting the 9/11 memorial in New York City has helped me not only understand what happened that day, but prevent me from being a part of a generation that may loose the feeling of needing to honor those who perished and those who fought to save others.
However, you don’t need to go to New York City to memorialize 9/11. There is a 9/11 memorial in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor that displays replicas of the fallen steal beams from the twin towers.
I want to say thank you to all the heroic first responders and every day people who fought to save the lives of others that day and I hope all who lived through that horrible tragedy can find faith, hope, and love.