Thousands of articles, columns, and blogs have been written about September 11, 2001 and how it affected everyone in the United States, regardless of religion, skin color or background. While I vividly remember where I was and what I was doing that day, and I would never suggest anything as trite as “moving on” or “seeking closure” I think it is time to honor the memory of those who died by remembering how they lived.
I didn’t know Dr. Paul Ambrose, but I took several classes from his father Dr. Ken Ambrose at Marshall University. Paul Ambrose was a promising young physician (who graduated from the Marshall University Medical School) and was on his way to a conference to give a presentation on preventing youth obesity. He died on Flight 77 as it crashed into the Pentagon. For every person who died that day, there is a story of people of someone who led a good life, whether living simply for their family or working toward a better future. To honor Paul Ambrose’s work, there is now the Paul Ambrose Trail for Health in Huntington.
Too often we get bogged down with crime and cruelty in the world and we forget those who serve us as a nation. I don’t know how many times recently I have said, with disgust in my voice, something to the effect of “people have lost their minds” when I have read a news story about another senseless killing or act of cruelty. On the whole, though, I think there are more good people out there than bad. The bad just get more attention.
There are good people who work to keep us safe, improve our lives and support others with little or no recognition for themselves. They just feel it is “what they are supposed to do” and they do it. They serve in the military, as first responders at home or at the local homeless shelter.
September 11, officially Patriot Day, is a day of mourning for our nation—as it should be. Today, take time to think about the people we as a nation lost that day and how we have changed since then. At the same time, rather than dwelling on the anger or hatred or grief of the day, remember those who served this nation and their local communities, and those who still serve simply because it is what they are supposed to do. If you get a chance, stop and say thank you..