Today We Are All Americans

I was attending an executive seminar on brand building with my colleagues at Procter & Gamble when America was attacked.  I will never forget the emotions of that day.  Like many people, it was a defining moment in my life.  The words of a French woman interviewed by a reporter still make me emotional when I reflect on that day – “Aujourd’hui, nous sommes tous Americains” (Today we are all Americans).

Today’s post is about remembering.  Please visit the 9/11 Memorial Website, the Flight 93 Memorial, and/or the Pentagon Memorial.

“Turn your wounds into wisdom”. Oprah Winfrey

On 9/11/2001, Brand America was wounded. We continue to seek the wisdom from the tragedy that touched the world.  On this day, “We are all American”.

If you have a memory or reflection to share, take a moment and leave a comment.  Let’s share thoughts on the wisdom we can/should glean from the wounds created on 9/11/2001.

Please note, political statements will be screened.

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7 Comments so far

  1. Karen Schultz

    September 11, 2011

    Thank you, Ed. I remember I had just retruned home from taking my son to his first day of college in Savannah, GA. My husband called me from his golf course outing and told me to sit down and turn on television. My daughter called me up from work and asked me to go get her brother and bring him home. It was quite a moment. It felt surreal. Watching the new reports, seemed like a movie. Disbelief and denial of the moment was a first reaction.

    This definitely was a time to use our wounds into wisdom.

    I am reminded of this day with every moment of violence in our country as a terrorist condition against citizens of this country whether in the drug war, the fear of neighborhoods run by gangs, and attacks proposed on our freedoms to speak about our faith publicly. Anyone who is hungry or unemployed due to the lack of knowledge of who are community members are and their pain left unsupported. It was an awakening and shaking up of our citizens from a drunken stupor to realize the importance of responsible and accountable citizenship and freedoms seriously. WE need each of us to reach out to one another, make a difference in business and society and rebuild the brand of America…the US as a beacon of hope and dreams in our world.

  2. David Fortune

    September 11, 2011

    Good morning Ed ! I woke up this morning thinking of my youngest son Daniel who recently got out of the army after 9 years & 2 tours . I thank God Daily that he is home safe. Then I think of all those who didn’t come back & how their families and loved ones must feel on this day! I agree TODAY WE ARE ALL AMERICANS ! Even though we have memories of the past . I will not give them the pleasure of seeing me mourn ! THIS IS A DAY THAT THE LORD HAS MADE LET US REJOICE AND BE GLAD IN IT ! Forever we stand united against any and all that would do us harm. I stand proud for those who served and gave their lives for our country. Thanks: David@

  3. Michael Fruhling

    September 12, 2011

    There is a lyric from the Rush song “Dreamline” that goes: “learning that we are only immortal for a limited time.” In a sense, that is what I felt that day. It was a realization that even the USA was vulnerable to attack and that we should be jarred from a sense of imperviousness.

  4. Craig Stimmel

    September 12, 2011

    Yes today we ARE all Americans. 9/11 is a day of remembrance and reflection. I expect on reflection, we did a lot of good things to protect the USA and some not so good things. Hopefully in the near term future, some of these extremes will be eliminated.

  5. Stephen Cameron

    September 12, 2011

    All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing. -Edmund Burke

    I’d love to see some statistics on this, but I met a number of men who quit their jobs and started new enterprises or worked out of the house within 6 months of 9/11. These were uncoordinated acts — possibly even unconscious acts — of dramatic reassessment. I quit my job because it was profoundly unsatisfying in the wake of the tragedy, and I thank God every day that he gave me that time to reconnect with my family and spend enormous amounts of time with my kids.

    Eventually I went back to a regular day job (if design can be considered regular), but am a much more centered person for that experience. And much more alive as well.

    “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20, the story of Joseph in Egypt.

  6. Terrence Porter

    September 13, 2011

    Ed, thanks for your note. I was on a plane that morning in route to Atlanta and then on to Mexico for a week of meetings within P&G. We landed in Atlanta and were waiting for our next flight in the airport terminal when we watched the planes hit the tower. I will never forget that day and the emotions and frankly anger for those who would attack us. My take away from that day is that we always come together as a country in great times of challenges and needs and finally I´m proud to be an American and for what we stand for and carry ourselves inside and outside the country regardless of the consequences.

  7. Robert C. Collins II, CPP/MH

    September 15, 2011

    What amazed me the most was the global impact of the event, not just that in the US. I was giving a presentation in our LA headquarters in Sao Paulo when someone ran in and turned on the television just prior to the second plane hitting the Trade Center.

    The loss of life, shock of the the event and basic humanitarian caring impacted nations around the world in the same way. One of my former employees from the UK gave me something his daughter recently wrote regarding 9/11. While she is grown now, she was only around 13 at the time of the tragedy:

    “For the husband who told his wife I love you one last time before his plane went down in a field, for the wife who stopped in the stairs to call her husband to say I will love you forever, for the mothers and fathers who kissed their kids goodbye the morning they died, for the policemen who rushed in with the firemen to help get others out only to die themselves, for the soldiers who fought back and lost their lives. Today, tomorrow, ten years from now, we will remember xxx”

    Pretty well sums it up for me!

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