On 9/11 we all gave our own blood.
This is not a metaphor, thousands of us physically gave blood beyond the first responders and victims of 9/11 and I think the saddest legacy of 9/11 is each year we remember and relive the tragedies of that day, but forget the bond and togetherness we felt with each other in the days after.
News media and social media is filled with the greatest hits of 9/11 from video of the planes flying into the towers, or the “falling man”.
Yet in the hours and days after the attack we were all American and Bush was everyone’s president. Public Service Announcements played on TV instead of commercials. You silently nodded at the person sitting in the car next to you at the stop light. Violet crimes took a dramatic downturn in the weeks after.
My roommate and I, along with hundreds of other people waited for hours outside blood banks, most only to be turned away as the need for blood decreased as the death toll ruled out any large number of survivors.
But here we are celebrating the 17th anniversary of the attacks and once 9/12 comes around we quickly forget how black & white, blue & red, urban & rural, we all would have spilled our own blood for the other. Now it feels we are closer to spilling the blood of each other more so than anytime since 1861.
Maybe Bin Laden did win.