Remember the song “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”
Sure you do. It was a popular folk song in the 1960s.
The song crossed my mind this week as I was thinking about next Tuesday. What’s next Tuesday? It’s 9/11. It’s the 11th anniversary of the several tragedies we collectively call 9/11: the twin towers in New York, the Pentagon, Shanksville (PA) and the whole country.
I remember the hours following the New York events, then the days followings, and then the weeks following. There were flags everywhere. “Old Glory” was on lapel pins, car windows, front yards. We proudly flew our flags; we waved them; we wore them; we showed our colors, proclaiming we would cower to no one.
And now, I wonder: Where have all the flags gone? Where are the lapel pins?
For months after 9/11 we displayed signs that said “Never forget.” Somehow, they seem to have disappeared.
But have we forgotten? Have our flags gone to closets everyone?
I hope not. I hope the horror of 9/11 does not fade with time. Sure, we all want the pain and grief borne by the thousands of surviving family members to become easier to bear as time passes.
At the same time, though, we, as citizens of the greatest country and with our varying opinions and views, must be together as Americans.
While the lapel pins and flags are only symbols of our nation, we must not toss them aside or hide them. We should show our colors as reminders to ourselves and to our neighbors.
Otherwise, when will we ever learn? When will we ever learn?