It is easy for us to remember Sept. 11, 2001. It was a horrific, national tragedy that is burned forever into our memories. It was one of the darkest days in our country's history. It appears it is not so easy for us to remember Sept. 12, 2001 -- probably one of our country's best days.
On Sept. 12 we began to learn about the first to fight back on United Flight 93.
I remember driving home from work that day and waiting an extra 15 minutes at the exit ramp to get home. There wasn't a wreck. There was a fireman with a boot already taking collections for the victims. Everybody stopped to pitch something in and nobody minded the wait. No road rage, no horn blowing. People suddenly had a grasp of what mattered.
I remember seeing a united Congress standing on the steps of the Capitol singing "God Bless America." Where did that go? Can you imagine seeing that today with a Congress so polarized red and blue? On Sept. 12, 2001, the country was first and foremost, not the next election or the special interests.
I remember watching the news from London and the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace where they played our National Anthem. I had a lump in my throat the size of a softball and felt pride for my country and theirs.
I remember hearing of the thousands of volunteers making their way to the World Trade Center to help with the rescue and recovery.
In other words, on Sept. 12, 2001, we caught a rare and special glimpse of what this country could be. People were caring for and helping each other. The important things were clear and the little stuff was little. There were no red states and blue states -- they were all our states.
Regrettably, while Sept. 11 remains crystal clear in our memories, Sept. 12 seems to have faded all too quickly. Sept. 11 showed what happens when man is at his worst. Sept. 12 showed us what happens when man is at his best.
I'll never forget Sept. 11 ... but I want to remember Sept. 12.