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9/11 Then and Now: From Patriots to Protesters

Nearly 20 years later, the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001 are all but forgotten.

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On September 11, 2001, when the Twin Towers went up in flames in a terrorist attack on our own soil, Americans – and the world – watched in abject horror and shock. Nearly 3,000 people died that day and America as we knew it had changed forever. It has been almost 20 years since that fateful day. How have we, as a nation, changed since then?

Patriots Unite

If there is anything positive that can come from the 9/11 attack, it would have to be the way Americans came together to help each other. We cannot forget the heroic efforts of the passengers of Flight 93 who gave up their lives to prevent the terrorists from achieving their goal of more death and destruction. We must also never forget the fire and police personnel who risked – and sacrificed – their lives to save the victims trapped inside the burning and collapsing buildings.

People came together to offer help in any way they could, whether it was donating food, clothes, and blankets, offering shelter, wrapping a neighbor in comforting arms, or just holding the hand of a stranger devastated by the tragedy. Patriotism rose to an epic proportion and the United States flag could be seen waving boldly from nearly every home, building, and park. The American people showed just how strong and united they could become when faced with such a dangerous foe.

Now, nearly two decades later, as cities are taken over and the nation’s flag is burned, we have gone from being patriots to violent protesters, the lessons of Sept. 11, 2001 are all but forgotten.

Project Protest and Destroy

Protesting has always been a part of our nation; it is our Constitutional right to peacefully rally against injustice and ideals with which we disagree. However, the year 2020 has been fraught with one calamity after another, from the Coronavirus pandemic that put the world on lockdown to the rioters laying attacking our cities.

Instead of pulling together during a crisis and helping our fellow Americans through such difficult times, as we did in 2001, civil unrest has divided and weakened us. Americans attacking Americans – violence and destruction instead of banding together. On this day of remembrance, as we honor the fallen heroes and victims of 9/11, we should also look back to who we were as a nation, and hopefully find our way back to respecting God, country, and mankind.

National Correspondent at and Kelli Ballard is an author, editor, and publisher. Her writing interests span many genres including a former crime/government reporter, fiction novelist, and playwright. Originally a Central California girl, Kelli now resides in the Seattle area.

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