Today marks eleven years since 9/11 and I've seen "United We Stand" all over the place. On restaurant and church signs, on my Facebook news feed, I even saw it today on somebody's back car window.
What's sad is we DON'T stand united.
In the days and weeks following 9/11, our country pulled together. Our grief and heartbreak quickly burst into the strongest display of American pride I'd ever seen in my life. People hung flags off their front porches, people stood in line to donate blood so we'd have enough on hand if there were any survivors, people hung red, white and blue ribbons on trees, people were kinder to each other and crime went down. I dare say we LOVED one another. Wow.
It's no secret that I cannot stand President Bush but even I thought he did a great job leading us through those dark days.
According to CNN today, President Obama leads Mitt Romney by 6%. That will probably change tomorrow. It fluctuates. My point is that we are pretty much split right down the middle. And it's getting so ugly already. Republicans won't talk to Democrats and Democrats won't talk to Republicans and other parties won't talk to either one of us.
I will never vote Republican. I believe if I did, my heart would just fall out of my chest right there on the gym floor of Thomson Middle School.
But just because I can't do it, I sure don't hate people who can! I don't even dislike people who vote Republican. I see stuff posted on Facebook and I don't usually comment because I try to be tolerant of all people, whether it's political or religious or the way they live their lives. I'm okay with this big old melting pot that is our beloved country. I don't get that same courtesy, though. I get hateful "Obama sucks" comments and I get "unfriended". The unfriending part is okay with me because after all, are we really friends?? Not usually.
I've made a decision -- to not let these next two months stress me out and make me all angsty about the election. I've decided to just smile when somebody says something nasty about President Obama but more importantly, I've decided to spend more time outside and enjoy this beautiful fall weather we've got coming, I've decided to read my Bible more and to pray hard for my country, I've decided to love on my Tabbie Hoffman even though he probably doesn't need MORE squeezing and I've decided to call my mama and daddy more.
This election is not going to control my life. I know where my loyalty lies and I know who has my vote. I really don't need to know anything other than that.
I think the best thing we can do to honor the 2,977 victims of 9/11 is to try to get through this election with the American spirit we had eleven years ago.
Fly a flag on your porch and breathe that crisp fall air. You'll feel better, I promise.