Today marks the 20 year remembrance of 9-11, the day the world stood still. One radio station I was listening to was sharing the memories of the commentators as well as provided a format for callers to share their personal stories. Then, I spoke with my daughter who called upset that she had seen comments and video going viral on Facebook. She said people were reporting a totally different story from the truth. They were saying that Hollywood staged the plain crashes and Americans were responsible for the attacks on Twin Towers.
My blood began to boil as I remembered 9-11.
I had been working for the LA County Sheriff's Department assigned to Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles, California. While completing my rounds, I walked into our main control room to grab a cup of coffee. I was 2 hours into my shift and feeling pretty good about how my day was shaping up. As I opened the door, I saw my co-workers standing and wide-mouth staring at the Television. I asked, "What's the matter?" All they could do was point at the TV, and when I looked, I saw one of the Twin Towers ablaze. As my mind attempted to make sense of what I was looking at, a second plane hit the other tower and burst into flames. In unison, we all said the same thing, "What the f--- is happening?" When I heard the commentator say, "America is under attack", and "Twin Towers has been hit by two terrorist planes," the words "Twin Towers" stuck in my mind and I panicked that my daughter might hear that her mom was in danger. Immediately, I called her school and explained that I was okay, then returned to the television to only see more and more attacks upon the homeland I love so much. There was a "call to duty" and so many members of my force took vacation time and paid out of their own pockets for flights back to ground zero. When I could arrange to be gone and started to make arrangements to answer the call, I was told the New York Police Department said they had so many volunteers from other agencies they couldn't accommodate anymore. My heart filled with pride at the response of the men and women in uniform, be it blue, white, or tan and green.
The days and weeks that followed were amazing. When I was at work, complete strangers would hug me. People said, "Thank you for your service" and waved as I drove by. This was the community I protected, the people I served, and the families I put my life on the line for. For once, they appreciated the men and women in uniform and I was grateful for that recognition.
Today, my heart weighs heavy for everyone who remembers the day 20-years ago, and I'm so angry at those who want to rewrite history and create a BS narrative that is a lie. If you'd like to learn more about the rewriting of America's history, visit the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website: https://www.archives.gov/about The NARA is committed to working with staff, communities, and peer institutions to assess and update descriptions that are harmful and to establish standards and policies to prevent future harmful language in staff-generated descriptions. If we don't honor the past it will be rewritten by those who want to change it.