Nineteen years and for many of us it still feels like yesterday. It always will, each year when Sept. 11 arrives on the calendar.

On Sept. 11, 2001, the unimaginable came to America’s shores. Even today — 6,940 days later — the senses can instantly bring us back, the sights and sounds of that dreadful day.

We were told to never forget. Is that still true? Today we remember, but the other 364 days of the year do we?

Memorials will be held across the nation as they are each September, but especially in New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. They mark the passage of time, offering a moment to reflect.

There are several 9/11 events in the Valley today, including one at Susquehanna University at noon — SU grads Chris Vialonga and Colleen Supinski died that day — and another in Northumberland. Saturday, firefighters in Mifflinburg make their annual 34.3-mile hike — in honor of the 343 New York City firefighters that died that day. If you have a moment, stop and pause with friends and neighbors.

While we pause today to remember that day 19 years ago, perhaps it can serve as a reminder of what Sept. 12, 2001 and the succeeding days looked and felt like.

As America seemingly becomes more divided by the day, recall the unity shown nationally when we rallied together in the days and weeks after that terrible moment. It didn’t matter what we looked like or believed or who we supported politically.

Americans understood that day that we were in this together and working side-by-side through our pain and struggles, highs and lows, that the collective unity could be enough to carry us through the tough moments.

Sound familiar?

We should remember what Sandy Dahl said in 2002. Dahl, the wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl was in Shanksville on the first anniversary of the tragedy. She said, “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.”

That is a message we should all heed right now.

NOTE: Opinions expressed in The Daily Item’s editorials are the consensus of the publisher, top newsroom executives and community members of the editorial board. Today’s was written by Managing Editor Bill Bowman.

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