Where were you when you heard about 9/11?

I will never forget seeing horrific TV footage as my wife and I were shopping while on vacation.

Several days later, I had had another powerful experience that I will never forget. I was on a baseball field in Atlantic Beach, FL just around the corner from where we lived. My son’s T-ball team, the Cubs, was warming up before practice. Several hundred yards away a little league game was starting, and I heard the announcer ask the crowd to stand for the singing of the national anthem.

Our practice stopped. Other teams practicing stopped their play. People walking in the area stopped. Everyone faced the flag.

Coaches and kids took off their hats.

They placed their hands over their hearts.

Everyone in sight turned toward the flag and began to sing The Star-Spangled Banner.

I can’t remember a time in my life when patriotism, unity, and honor were exhibited so freely and proudly as it was 22 years ago.

In the aftermath of 9/11, things were different.

People showed more respect to those who served or who were serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.

Firefighters and police officers were shown more gratitude and appreciation.

We were kinder to our neighbors and even to strangers.

Church attendance was high.

Little inconveniences were less bothersome.

Families spent more time together.

I remember reading about a town in New Jersey that dedicated one night a week for family time. No meetings, sporting events, or evening school activities were scheduled to allow the community to focus on their families.

While no one ever wants to live through a tragedy like 9/11 again, many people pine for the sense of community and unity we had afterward.

Please don’t wait for another world changing event to bring back civility, kindness, gratitude, and appreciation to your work and personal life.

How about starting today?

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