I attended this year’s 9/11 Memorial as a volunteer member of Naperville’s Emergency Management Agency. The event was a moving show of patriotism, civic pride, and gratitude toward those who serve, sometimes at the cost of their lives. What makes someone ignore that powerful sense of self-preservation to rush to aid of others? I don’t know, but thank the good Lord there are such men and women among us.
Of those in attendance at this year’s memorial were Naperville natives, Dr. Tom Shanower, brother of Cmdr. Daniel Shanower, who lost his life at the Pentagon, and after whom our memorial is named, along with their mother Pat. The takeaway quote for the entire event comes from Mrs. Shanower. When asked what she hopes for future generations, she said:
That they will be true patriots, they will do something for their community, it doesn’t have to be in politics, but find something you’re passionate about and do something for somebody else.
It is right and fitting that we honor those lost on September 11th. They are all part of the fabric that makes America strong. And, as Americans, we can be proud of the fact that our nation is always first to come to the aid of those in trouble anywhere in the world.
Do we have problems here at home? Yes. Can we solve them? Yes, by harnessing the ingenuity, work-ethic, and selflessness inherent in the American character that says, each and every person is valuable and deserving respect. Let’s roll up our sleeves and pitch in instead of sitting on the sidelines and bitching.
And speaking of sidelines: Compare and contrast this event, which is only one example of thousands like it that took place all around the country this past weekend, with the shameful displays of some indulged, entitled athletes who refuse to honor the country that affords them the luxury of being indulged and entitled.