17 years ago I was still pretty new to radio. I was working part time "across the street" part time and I also was delivering building supplies full time. That morning I was making a delivery to Colonie Center and we heard on the radio that an airplane had struck the World Trade Center. At the time nobody really knew what kind of plane or really what was going on. The guy I was working with and I jumped into our truck and put on The Howard Stern Show, he was still on commercial radio at the time. That's when we learned that it was a commercial plane that had struck the 1st tower. As we were listening, we heard them scream and say that another plane had hit the other tower. We sat in the truck and listened for about 25 minutes before we got back to work and finished unloading our truck. We listened to Howard all the way back to our shop and then watched the tv that we had in our office. We were sent home early and I went right to the radio station that I was working for to see if we had any other information on what was going on. I spent about an hour or so there then headed home. I proceeded to sit in front of the tv, like pretty much everyone else, and watch the news all day long. I can remember an overwhelming feeling of sadness and constantly asking "Why?"
As vivid as all of those memories are in my mind, the one thing that stood out to me was in the days that followed the tragedy. I can remember our Country coming together as one. We were all hurt. We were all saddened at the events that had just taken place. We were all angry. On top of all of that, we were all American. Everyone was helping in any way that they could. We were no longer Democrats or Republicans. We were no longer black or white. We were no longer anything but Americans. We were unified and determined to prove to the World that nothing could bring us down. Nobody could come to into our yard and take away our pride. They couldn't take away our heart.
So, why does that stand out so much to me? Because for the better part of a decade I feel like we've lost that unity. Somewhere along the line we've lost our unity. I don't know how or why but it seems that we are no longer fighting for the same cause anymore. For whatever reason, political views have driven a wedge between us.
My question is why or maybe it's how? How have we gotten so far away from where we were 17 years ago. I understand that a major tragedy brought us all together but since then there have been plenty of tragedies that should have united us, yet they have not. We're still fighting among ourselves about political policies and which "side" is right or wrong.
My plea to anyone who will listen is simple - Please get away from this political divide. We are all on the same team. None of us are better than the other. Why is that so difficult to understand? I don't care what God you pray to. I don't care what the color of your skin is. I don't care what party you're affiliated with. NONE of that matters. We are all human and we all need to come together for the better of our Country. If we cannot do this none of us are going to like the road in which we will be traveling. So I ask you to please get past whatever hang ups you have about your fellow American. Try harder to look at things through their eyes and listen to what they are saying. This goes for everyone. If you're a Democrat or a Republican, I DON'T CARE! You have to learn to listen to what the other side is saying. Compromise is the key. None of you are 100% right and none of you are 100% wrong. We all need to meet in the middle and fix the many issues that we are having.