12 years. A whole new generation is growing up in a world now where the events of September 11th have always been a reality. Where terrorist threats are not just a fear in other countries, or a plot for a movie, but very real fears. And for the rest of us, like any defining moment in history, our lives are now separated: life before 9-11, and life after. We were all effected by the events of this day over a decade ago, and as someone who watched the horror unfold that day, I can tell you that it still feels like it just happened yesterday.
What matters most though, on this day, is the distance we’ve come from this tragedy. This day reminded Americans of what we stand to lose. It has re-instilled our sense of community, of charity and of progress. Working for a company that deals with non-profits and corporate entities alike, the volume of stock and custom pins that are devoted to the families and communities connected to 9-11 continue to inspire me. The desire to keep improving our country and our world, and the active remembrance of those who lost their lives that day, and those who helped save them, has not been dulled over time.
That’s the thing about working in an industry devoted to promotion and charity: you get a barometer for what matters to people. Military members, their families; EMTS, police, firefighters; those suffering with disease and those who make them better; volunteers of all sorts. These are the pins that fly out the door. Not the democrat pins, or republican. Not the rubber duck or the motivational lanyards. It’s the pins that promote and celebrate our eagerness to help make the world a better place. Knowing this makes me continually hopeful about our future.
9-11 was a wakeup call. It was a realization that we need to take care of one another and strengthen our society from the inside out. The reaction of fellow Americans and others around the world confirmed that as people, we are caring, selfless, and devoted to each other. And in my small way, helping folks thank these selfless individuals through pins, keeps me devoted to making my own corner of the world a better place.
9-11. For a million reasons, none of us should ever forget.