Dear Kyla - and Kyla’s Generation,
There was a time, not so long ago, when things weren’t like they are now.
There wasn’t all this yelling and screaming about anti-this-or-that or declaring who or whatever to be a hoax or cancelled just because you have some sort of a disagreement about things. You could have differences in option without having to face being called tyrannical because of what your believed and you weren’t called a traitor because you might have thought just a bit differently about things, thoughts, issues and trials we encountered in living life.
There was a time when our so-called "leaders" appealed to our best hopes and didn’t attempt to divide us with the the rhetoric of fear, hate and confusion.
You see, not that long ago, some people who just abhor our way of life decided they wanted to do something - which - much like those who stoke the fires of fear, hate and division do now - to scare us. To “teach us a lesson.” To show the world that America, as a people, were attacked, would cower, run, divide and fall apart.
Instead, we came together.
After these evil-doers flew planes into buildings and murdered thousands of people, impacting millions of lives, 20 years ago today, our Country of many people, with many thoughts and ways of life, of many religions and of different political beliefs, from rich and poor and working classes came together - United - as one Country of people… to stand up against those who tried to tear us apart. We hung flags from buildings and houses. We lit candles. We donated blood and food, cash and time, and we all stepped up, as ONE people… to say to the world… you can come at us, try to break us, but we are the United States of America.
A land built by outcasts, and misfits, of oppressed and forgotten, of different faiths and beliefs, who believed in this radical idea that we could build on an idea saying “out of many… one.”
And we brought those who tried to scare us apart… to justice. The rest. Is history.
Today, you are hearing phrases like “never forget.” You are seeing stories being told about the things which happened that day, and for many, it happened before you were born. That day is what it is and was what it was… but what happened afterward, is what I hope you will watch and absorb.
Therein lies the lesson to be taught - and to be remedially taught - on this day.
You may not believe this after the last few years or so, but, the truth is, we have it within our American DNA to be better than we are now. To be bigger than this division which you see and the rhetoric you hear which, sadly, is of the same root of hate which lead some to do what they did to us 20 years ago.
Kyla, and Kyla’s generation: You can make this right. You can demand that MY generation - the generation of your parents - and even grandparents - do better. Treat each other better. That we come together and stop spreading division and fear. That we appeal to hopes and dreams. To courage and optimism. That we get back to being the people we should be in only place on the planet which believes that anyone from anywhere of any belief who loves anyone they want to love can do anything they want to do because that’s who we are as Americans. It’s who we were founded to be.
I believe in you. I believe in your generation. I believe that you will insist my generation and those who came before you - do better… and I will be there to help you do it. In honor of the memory of those we lost on that day, 20 years ago. Those whom we lost in the years to follow as we brought those who did this to justice… and in the memory of those who built this idea called America… a land founded on the idea that “out of many…”
We are one.
I’m writing this to you from Boston, place which became the birthplace of a revolution, which stood up to multiple acts of true tyranny,gave birth to this amazing American idea. I hope you will - if necessary - lead a new revolution which gets us back to who we were as an American people… people who came together… because WE are US…
… much like we did - and were - not so long ago.