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We Have Forgotten September 11 by Wal Ozello

Last week September 11 came and went. There was a few mentions on TV. A documentary on the History Channel, an acknowledgement on the morning news shoved between NFL Public Relations problems and commentary from the President's ISIL speech the evening before. There was a spattering of 9/11 pictures and posts on social media, with the obligatory tweet from your politicians.

At my son's school, there was no classroom conversation about that important day in history, only a moment of silence as they shuffled to class from period 1 to period 2.

While flags flew at half mast, they weren't lined up and down my block like they were in October of 2001.

But see, I'm okay with that. I'm perfectly fine with a watered down memory of 9/11 as long as we can continue what happened AFTER 9/11. Unfortunately, we've forgotten the American Companionship and Compassion we forged the weeks after that tragic event.

Yes, we should say a prayer for those that died that day. For those killed by the murdering terrorists and those killed trying to save the innocent from the terrors inside. But do more than say a prayer, remember that we are all Americans and that we're all in this together. Reach out and help your fellow American, or just say "Hi" to a stranger. Let's work with each other to make this country the amazing place it is.

Be patriotic. Let's create a better America tomorrow than one we have today. Let's create a better country for all of us to live in.

The divisiveness in America is astonishing today. So many seem to be out for themselves. Sure there are the extremist - the entitlementalists on one side who feel they deserve everything and the 1% on the other side who don't feel they need to help.  But there's a wide spectrum of in-betweeners - those that still aren't willing to compromise on anything because they want to live in their America and not anyone else's.

This country is not mine. It's not yours.  It's ours.  And making it better for the generations to come is our responsibility.

I don't care if you want to live by President Reagan's "If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen" or President Kennedy's "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." I don't care if you're right or left, Republican or Democrat, African-American, Euro-American, Latino, or whatever.

Work hard to have America continue to be the best nation to live in.  Not for yourself, but for all of us. Let's get back to that "We are America" feeling we had days after 9/11.  The feeling that birthed flag-lined neighborhoods, the feeling that made you warmly greet whoever passed you by, and the feeling that made all of us believe we're in this together.

Let's do this so those that died that on 9/11, didn't die in vain.

We got a whole year to get it together before the next anniversary of September 11.  Maybe by then we can remember to act like Americans again.

Wal Ozello is the author of Assignment 1989: The Time Travel Wars and Revolution 1990,  novels about World War III fought as a temporal cold war.  He's a deep believer in liberty, justice, and the pursuit of the American Dream for all.

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