Today, September 11, 2013, we commemorate one of the saddest days in our history.
9/11 is a day that stands for infamy, for horror, for the worst of the human race.
But, 9/11 also stands for a day, a moment, when all the world saw a people united to honor their fallen ones, to cry for those who did not make it, and to pray for them and their families.
But the world also saw a nation, a people, a government stand as one to avenge the perpetrators of this heinous crime, and to realize that there are more things that bind us as a people than divide us.
That we are at our best when reach out to our better angels as Americans. That if our enemies see us as one people, there is no need to treat each other as strangers.
I share with you a moving poem by Dr. Cheryl Sawyer who captured the essence of being one people.
by Dr. Cheryl Sawyer
As the soot and dirt and ash rained down, We became one color.
As we carried each other down the stairs of the burning building We became one class.
As we lit candles of waiting and hope
We became one generation.
As the firefighters and police officers fought their way into the inferno We became one gender.
As we fell to our knees in prayer for strength, We became one faith.
As we whispered or shouted words of encouragement, We spoke one language.
As we gave our blood in lines a mile long, We became one body.
As we mourned together the great loss
We became one family.
As we cried tears of grief and loss
We became one soul.
As we retell with pride of the sacrifice of heroes We become one people.
We are The Power of One.
We are United.
We are America.
Dr.Cheryl Sawyer is a mom and a college professor who teaches students learning to be school counselors or licensed professional counselors at the University of Houston Clear Lake School of Education.