American spirit fading fast

Published 9:11 am Thursday, September 15, 2011

Ten years after September 11, 2001 the memories of the viciously calculated terrorist attacks still hold the pain, shock and fear felt that day.

However, it’s the unity, selflessness, and patriotism that shined through the shadows. In the days after September 11th, the terrorists had completed their missions, but the consensus was they did not win.

That seemingly genetically inherited trait of the hardworking and resilient American was never more apparent than on September 11 and in those few days after.

The United States had simply been brought to its knees and it was its people that picked back up and did what needed to be done. The true unity following September 11 crossed all lines, including political, racial and religious.

Yet 10 years later as the memories still remain with us, it is that unified spirit that seems to have faded. Feelings of distrust, lack of empathy and fear have been slowly bubbling up to the surface, and the country is on a slippery slope to giving in to those emotions.

Americans, in a sense, are becoming strangers.

The general public is not alone in this mindset as the same notions seem to reflect in our federal government. The constant dissent and polarization of the two parties has set an example of if you do not agree with someone, they are the enemy and, therefore, you can never work with them. Compromise seems to be a non-existent word in our leaders’ vocabulary.

In this disarray, those fearful dark emotions perpetuate an even more sinister one: hate. It’s the sentiment at the core of every violent and ignorant act.

They say hate is the most useless emotion; it doesn’t accomplish anything, it just breeds more and more harmful thoughts and actions—just as those done on September 11, 2001.

Ten years after this national tragedy, we remember 9/11, but do we recall that small ray of hope for our country that shone that day. Does that spirit after 9/11 still exist?

Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: or call (252) 332-7209.