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9/11 was 19 years ago but, today’s America makes it seem like 190

It has been 19 years since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: a day when nearly 3,000 people of every creed and color — Americans and citizens from several countries who were pursuing the American dream — were murdered in New York, at the Pentagon and on United Flight 93.

In some ways, 9/11 seems like a half-minute ago. In other ways it feels a lifetime ago.

No one I knew personally died on that day — but I lost friends in the ensuing War on Terror, and America has lost close to 7,000 service members attempting to keep a terrorist act of that magnitude from coming here again.

It was the honor of a lifetime — and the high point of my career as a reporter — to be embedded with our military in the middle of that war.

Even though President Barack Obama declared the Global War on Terrorism officially over, thousands continue that fight. The vast majority of them didn’t put on their uniform until after Sept. 11, 2001 — and more than a few hadn’t even been born by that date.

Because it’s becoming “way back when,” I wonder on how many more future September Elevenths we will cut into regular programming to bring you the commemorations from around the country — especially knowing that a sizable number American adults were young enough in 2001 that their feelings about 9/11 are colored more by how their parents reacted as opposed to how they did.

Nineteen years later, as America faces a political divide that no bridge seems can ever span, I hope that more than remembering how we felt on the day of Sept. 11, 2001, we remember how we felt —- and what America felt like — in the days and weeks after.

Whether we knew each other or not, we displayed a deep, true concern for each other — and we felt unity as Americans.

Last year on Sept. 11, I said that I’m praying it won’t take another 9/11 to bring back those feelings.

This year, I’m still praying for unity — but as we find ourselves in the midst of another national crisis (a crisis where so many are saying once again, “we’re in this together!”), it sure doesn’t feel that way.

When I see the images of the day of Sept. 11, 2001, it seems like yesterday. But when I take a look at where we are as a country at this moment, 9/11 seems like forever ago.

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