What’s your one word?

I’ve been watching the National Memorial Day Concert for as long as I can remember. I was introduced to it as a child when my paternal grandma was over for dinner one night and said she had to go home.

Being the young, inquisitive boy I was, I uttered my favorite word: “Why?”

She informed me it was to watch the National Memorial Day Concert.

As soon as she left, I went into the house and sat on the living room couch, with about ten minutes to spare (the concert starts promptly at 8pm).

I sat down to Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise welcoming viewers to the National Memorial Day Concert, held every year on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol.

That was when I was a child. I’ve watched it every year since.

This year the Concert was hosted remotely, as it was last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joe stated toward the end of the Concert, “If there is one word that describes this Concert, and Memorial Day itself, it is the word ‘remember;’ and, on this day, we remember to always hold in our hearts what matters; to focus not on what may temporarily divide us, but on what permanently unites us: our cherished American values, our love of Country, and of our desire to live together in peace.”

As always, the Concert was a moving testament to our troops, past and present, and our first responders. Joe spoke to a time when the United States was attacked. It seems like yesterday but was 20 years ago. Yes, September 11, 2001 was a horrible day, we will always remember it, but we should also remember September 12th and the days that followed and how united we were.

People helping each other. Canadians opening their homes to stranded Americans who couldn’t get back into the country because all of the airports were closed. People donating blood, others volunteering to go to ground zero, others sending supplies. Everyone did what they could to help, despite our differences.

Will there be a time when we will live like we did on September 12th without having to first live through September 11th?

Only time will tell.

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