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18 Fearless Years


Gary Barg - Editor-in-chiefOnward and Forward

Twelve years ago today, while typing my column for this newsletter, the unthinkable happened. The date was September 11, 2001, and I was in the middle of a paragraph recounting the terrific time I had while giving a talk in Sioux City, Iowa, when the scenes that transfixed the world began to unfold across my television set. The juxtaposition between the terrorists who unleashed such horror and the loving caregivers I met in Iowa was striking and I commented that no such acts would tear this country apart; rather…

“No matter what ends they hope to accomplish, I guarantee you that with the community, love and support that I have seen across this country in cities large and small, these cowards will never win...”

Twelve years forward and much of what was to be expected has happened, as has much that we could not have anticipated. One positive thing which occurred in the days immediately after the attack was the sense of unity we felt as a nation, not to mention the support and well-wishes of much of the world. Unfortunately, it did not take long for a dizzyingly fast series of events to unravel those feeling.

Now, so many deaths later, and with the events of that horrific day and those that followed turned into a political football, this is a perfect moment for silent reflection— to stop and think. Think of those we lost and their loved ones, as well as those brave first responders who are dealing with unforeseen respiratory illnesses to this day. Think of our new heroes returning from the war with injuries, seen and unseen, that they will be dealing with for years to come, and think of their families that stand with them as they work hard to recover.

We need to find a way back to the solidarity and sense of community we felt those long days and nights ago.  We need to remember the compassion, civility and unity we all felt and renew those feelings in all things we do together as citizens. That is truly the only way to guarantee that the bad guys never win.  

Oh yes, one other thing about this date.  I am traveling today (probably as you read this) to speak at an event tomorrow in Rockford, Illinois.  (Stop by if you are in the area.)  The arrangements were made two months ago and it was only last week that it occurred to me on what day I would be traveling.  I think that is a good thing in itself—that we leave behind the residual fear regarding this particular date and resume a sense of cautious normalcy. What we cannot ever do is leave our veterans and first responders behind as well.

The 9/11/2001 column

Of Love, Community and Cowards


Gary Barg
Today's Caregiver magazine

Wednesday September 11th, 2013


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