By Outer Banks Voice on September 11, 2021
Everybody over the age of 30 remembers where they were that day. And many of us can still recall the sense of loss and shock and the anxiety — in the days that followed — that we might no longer be safe in our homeland and in our homes.
We wondered when things would start to return to normal. And in a gritty display of U.S. resilience, they did. The stock market, capitalism’s beating heart, came back on Sept. 17 and within a month had recouped the 11% drop it experienced shortly after re-opening. After a week’s hiatus, the major league baseball season resumed, leading to a classic 2001 seven-game World Series. And with everybody wondering when it was okay to laugh again, Saturday Night Live returned 18 days after the attacks to let us know, somewhat awkwardly, that it was.
Something that can also seem long ago and far away today is the way the country came together, as one, to meet the challenge of 9/11. Ten days after that attack, George W. Bush achieved the highest presidential job approval rating in the history of the Gallup Poll—at 90%. Yes, when Bush ran for re-election in 2004, he won by less than three percentage points and we were pretty much a 50-50 country again.
But as we stop and remember 9/11 today — those who were lost and their loved ones– let’s also remember that moment when Americans realized that what united us was stronger that what divided us.