It isn't realistic to expect that America will recapture the feeling of unity and sense of shared purpose that we had in the awful aftermath of 9/11.
That doesn't mean we shouldn't try.
For Columbia County, Friday is a good time to start. It's the eighth time the county has observed Patriot Day, gathering to remember the fallen from the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
The gathering in front of the Justice Center in Evans will start at8:30 a.m. The ceremony at the flagpole typically is brief - about 30 minutes - but moving.
It's hard to keep a dry eye during the bagpiper's rendition of "Amazing Grace," or the symbolically unanswered radio call for Fire Department New York from Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue.
But it's time well-spent, and here's why.
Columbia County's kindergartners, and first-graders, and second-graders, and third-graders and maybe a few fourth-graders, were not yet born when the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon was burning. Fifth-graders, sixth-graders, even seventh-graders likely aren't old enough to remember when United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, Penn.
The brief commemoration of that tragedy once each year is a small sacrifice of time compared to the thousands of lives lost, and failing to keep that memory alive would be an even greater tragedy.
Those who remember have a responsibility to pass that memory along to those too young to recall the events of Sept. 11, 2001.
Friday morning's observance is a good time to start.
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