Berthoud Weekly Surveyor | Covering all the angles in the Garden Spot

Veteran’s Corner

By: Ryan Armagost | The Surveyor | September 09, 2021 | Local News

This weekend brings the twentieth anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States that occurred on September 11, 2001.  The events that occurred on the morning of 9/11/2001 will never be forgotten for those that recall that morning.  With the events that have taken place this year, it brings a somber reminder of the sacrifices made for many of us.  That day was a day that brought our country together more than it has been during my lifetime and beyond.  It brings me to talk about two things that arise when we encounter national tragedies of that magnitude.  Those two things are Americanism and Patriotism, which we should all hold near and dear.

Many days, I can’t remember what day of the week it is.  However, I vividly remember the events of Tuesday, September 11, 2001, like it was yesterday.  I woke up to my alarm at 6:30 a.m. and began getting ready for work.  While I was taking a shower, I was listening to the radio.  They mentioned that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.  I was shocked by the oddity of a plane hitting a tower in New York, so I turned on the television after getting out of the shower to see what was going on.  After doing so, I witnessed the burning building as another plane struck the other tower.  I knew at that moment that we were under attack.  While I was shocked at these attacks, I reluctantly continued to get ready for work.  The radio station was interviewing someone from the Pentagon about the attacks, when a third jet hit the conversation quickly went to what happened there.  After that, there was mention of another jet that crashed in Pennsylvania.  At that point, I had assumed that the attacks were far from over.  I went to work as a field supervisor for a security firm.  I was told not to report to my normal place of work, but instead to help manage the security of the World Trade Center in downtown Denver.  I found myself watching the skies for the remainder of the day, with a sick feeling of shock and uncertainty that loomed until later that night.

Despite what anyone thinks of President George W. Bush, I want people to recall the address to the nation that he gave after the attacks.  His words summoned the fundamental ideology of America that was attacked by Al-Qaeda that day.  What happened on 9/11 was tragic and completely demoralizing.  What happened on 9/12 was nothing short of amazing and inspiring.  The citizens of our country came together in a mutual feeling of sorrow and resolve.  The members of our Congress gathered on the steps of the Capitol to sing “God Bless America.” That moment was one of pure Americanism and Patriotism.  People gathered across otherwise divisive political lines and shared a moment of true comradery.  Those lines and all other lines that divided our country at that time were dissolved by a tragic attack by a group that hates us for our way of life.  We were Americans and we stood together as such, to console those that lost loved ones and comfort each other that we would not let terrorists get away with what they did.  Many people chose this event as a reason to serve a cause greater than themselves.  Some joined the military and others became first responders after being inspired by the heroes that sacrificed themselves that dreadful day.

Americanism is a term that was coined in 1781 by a gentleman named John Witherspoon.  This term is loosely defined as loyal patriotism, religious tolerance, righteous freedom, fearless courage, honest integrity, and abiding faith in the commanding destiny of the United States.  “Americanism”, while an ideology, was also defined in traits of American tradition such as barbecues, holidays, diversity, and tradition.  Patriotism is a universal term that is defined as a devoted loyalty of support and love for your nation and fellow citizens.  These two terms are simple and objective for anyone that resides in our great nation.  They are what binds us together when we are at odds with each other.

While our country and its citizens are seemingly focused on finding more reasons to be different from one another and better than each other, we need to remember what it took for us to see beyond that nonsense and be American again.  We don’t need another 9/11 to realize that we are all still American.  We need to be good to one another and find those reasons to relate to one another.  Say hello to your neighbor, open a door for a complete stranger, use your turn signal when changing lanes, pay it forward at the drive-through, and just be a decent human being to others.  This is the American way and what we are founded upon.  Live a life worthy of the sacrifice of so many that fought for our way of life, our freedom, and our liberty.  God bless America.

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