I miss the America from 9/12/2001.
Do you remember that day?
It is easily overshadowed by the horror of 9/11.
On 9/12, we woke up to a renewed purpose.
A purpose that America was more than a political party.
More than a president.
More than any one person.
America was an idea.
An idea so extraordinary, it was worth taking on a king for.
It was worth picking up the pieces from the rubble and rebuilding.
We knew this back in 1776.
It was reinvigorated on 9/12.
No one determined your value by what political party you belonged to.
We were Americans first, and everything else came second.
On 9/12, we were a country focused on healing and moving forward.
I’d like to get back to that.
To having conversations and disagreements about policies with friends but never putting those differences above the friendship.
I want to get back to a country where your heart matters more than your political affiliation.
On 9/12, we realized we are more than the politicians we elect.
Strangers showed up to assist police and firefighters pull survivors from the rubble.
No one cared if you were a liberal or a conservative.
No one cared if you were white, brown, or black.
Politics were poison as we moved forward towards solutions, welcoming all ideas on how we could rebuild.
We knew in those days that a politician would not heal us; we needed to heal ourselves.
Now we put politicians on pedestals.
We put politics before friends and family.
We put the need to be right over the need to find solutions and make progress.
Our founders did not agree on everything. On the contrary, they disagreed more than they agreed.
But the solutions and the progress of our new nation were more important than any one man’s need for glory.
Those differences allowed us to form a new nation, unlike any ever created.
Let us remember what we learned in 1776 and on 9/12.
That our differences are our greatest strength.
That it takes people to perform an injustice, and it takes people to rectify it.
That a bunch of messy people from all walks of life can come together and govern themselves without a king.
I still believe, and I commit to being part of the solution.
Will you do the same?
This post originally appeared on the author's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/shepensblog