Sixteen years ago, I got a phone call from my mom while I was still in bed.
“America is under attack! They are bombing us with planes! Oak Ridge is their next target!” she says.
I tell her, “Hold on! I’m going outside to see if the horizon is glowing!”
I was living in West Knoxville at the time. It wasn’t too far from Oak Ridge. I go outside an the weather is perfect. No Red Dawn-style horizon. No fire and brimstone.
I went inside to turn on the television. Apparently, the planes were hijacked and flown into buildings in NYC. Speculation of an attack in Oak Ridge had me thinking the end was nigh. It was only the beginning of a new era of fear.
The fear still lives. It has gone beyond anger to become a brew of hate. Do not let the horrible actions of those people bring us to the dark side. We can overcome the fear. We can move beyond the hate. Let us carry forth as a single unit. Let the memories of that day in September of 2001 unite us. Let us stand together as one nation to support one another. We ARE a great nation of beautifully diverse people. Our many, as one, can be a shining light in the night.