Yesterday was the 17th anniversary of the September 11th attacks. As a New Yorker, American, and a human, this day was extremely impactful for me. To this day, it is severely important to me as well.
I shared a quick social media post that I have included below:
In 2001 I was 10 years old and devastated. Ever since that day I knew I wanted to help and protect people.— Ricardo N Feliciano (@FelicianoTech) September 11, 2018
10 years later, I put on a uniform to do just that.#NeverForget #September11th #911 #USNavy #Motivate pic.twitter.com/GJ8hRyvyig
September 12th and the days after, the weeks and months after, changed us. It caused us to act differently to each other. To treat each other with respect and empathy.
New York City has traditionally been been discussed by outsiders in one of two ways. The magical, beautiful, historic city where dreams come true, or the fast city with trash on the streets and rude people on every corner who’d watch as you got robbed. These outsiders, the news, wasn’t talking about us like that anymore in late 2001 and early 2002.
Walking through the streets of New York, everyone was friendly (maybe not for Muslims, but that’s a different story for a different blog post). Everyone would ask how you and your family were. If you were impacted. So many businesses and homes proudly had American flags on display. Waving in the wind bright and energetic as ever, as if tragedy just didn’t happen.
Admittedly I was fairly young, but I don’t remember this country being as close together, arm-in-arm, as September 12th.
I don’t want another tragedy to occur in order to bring this country back together. I don’t want another World War in order for us to realize we’re all on the same side.
The United States is not white or black. The United States is not Christian or Muslim. The United States is not straight or gay.
We’re all of those things. The founding of this country was in order to escape religious prosecution. As place where everyone, even the misfits, can be free.
“United we stand, divided we fall”
Let’s work together again, let’s care about each other again, and not be so on edge. Let’s make a warm, loving, and proud country for our kids to grow up in. Let’s welcome each other with open arms, everyone (unless you eat pineapple pizza, then you’re not welcomed).